Horrible Sports Fans Stealing Stuff from Kids
In certain circles, willful theft of a child's sports souvenir sits between "manslaughter" and "refusing to watch The Deer Hunter" in terms of punishable offenses.
Stealing a baseball from the tiny mitts of a toddler goes against every tenet of organized society. The act alone tears at the social fabric and hearkens back to a time when mankind clubbed the offspring of opposing tribes and rewound tapes before returning them through the slot.
We have rules in this day and age, and one of the most basic is the unwritten law stating that children at sports games are first in line when souvenir memorabilia come flying into the stands.
The following are people who have either never heard of this principle or refuse to acknowledge its very existence. They are outlaws of the highest order—selfish enemies of the state that put their own happiness before the joy of children.
Some got away with their souvenir thievery; others repented and returned their pilfered goods. All of them shall be brought to justice on this day.
Fans Steal Scott Niedermayer's Stick from Girl, Beat Each Other's Faces
We cannot have nice things as human beings.
Why? Because no matter how many technological breakthroughs we pioneer, we're still selfish and immature creatures at our core. We invented the smart phone, cured polio and created the waffle taco, but we can't allow a little girl the joy of a souvenir hockey stick.
This infamous occasion occurred during a 2009 Anaheim Ducks game when Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer attempted to toss his stick over to a young girl in the stands. Instead of reaching its intended target, the shaft was grabbed out of the air by two men who proceeded to punch each other in the face.
One of the men involved in the fight was Mike Vallely, a local skateboarder/musician and Ducks superfan. Vallely is reportedly the young girl's father, which prompts one to wonder just exactly what in the hell kind of life lesson he was attempting to impart at this moment.
Punishment: 40 days in solitary confinement or three hours as Donald Sterling's press secretary.
Demon Woman Steals Ball from Little Girl
I despise this woman. With the heat of 1,000 ghost peppers I detest her.
There's nothing redeemable about the acts of the lady who stole a ball from a little girl at a 2011 Texas Rangers ASTROS game. It wasn't a simple, "Oh, I didn't see you there" moment. She didn't unknowingly intercept the ball with her long, adult arms before it could travel to its intended target.
This woman literally pried the ball from the stubby hands of a little, moon-faced girl. Satan had to pause Franklin & Bash just to wonder what new circle of hell he has to engineer just to house this awful individual.
Punishment: An entire afterlife of laying on Velcro and listening to Eagles b-sides.
Like Baseballs from Children
They claim they didn't mean to, but Sean Leonard and Shannon Moore still managed to ruin Cameron Shores' day at a 2012 Texas Rangers game.
The couple caught a ball intended for the three-year-old Rangers fan and proceeded to take pictures with their new souvenir as the toddler sobbed in the seats directly adjacent.
Leonard and Moore have since demanded an apology from Yankees commentator Michael Kay, who accused the two of rubbing their prize in the child's face. They claim they'd been unfairly demonized as "the worst fans in the world."
Punishment: After careful consideration, I've decided to hear this couple's plea for leniency and spare them the axe.
I sentence them to 10 Houston Astros games. In a row.
Canadiens Fan Tries to Snipe Max Pacioretty's Stick
A man with a leather jacket and zero awareness of his surroundings attempted to make off with Max Pacioretty's hockey stick after Game 4 of the Montreal Canadiens' first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canadiens winger had just stuck in a game winner against Tampa, making his stick tantamount to rich myrrh at the moment.
Pacioretty attempted to pass the article to two young fans in the stands but had his kind gesture intercepted by Leatherback Fonzie at the tunnel. Fortunately for the children, other adults in the area with senses of perspective called the man out and he promptly handed over the goods.
Punishment: Thirty minutes of conversation with a club promoter.
North Face Bro Jacks Ball from Kid
Earlier this month a man at a Boston Red Sox game quick-gloved a young Yankees fa out of a souvenir ball tossed by Xander Bogaerts.
The Red Sox infielder flipped the spare ball toward the child, who watched hopelessly as North Face Johnny plucked it out of the air and returned to his seat. The two exchanged looks, with the man seemingly asking, "Oh, was this for you, bro?"
A transaction appeared imminent, that is, before the man turned back to celebrate with his friends.
Punishment: He must watch Draft Day on repeat at the "bad" movie theater for the entirety of Fourth of July weekend.
The Shoe Thief Cometh
This is what Robyn Ereth—an adult human being—said as she Peanut Punched a Donald Driver baseball cleat out of a kid's arms.
That kid was Stephen Wagner, a 12-year-old Packers fan who just wanted a piece of memorabilia to go home with after watching the former Green Bay wideout play in a charity softball game in 2012. In the midst of throwing his game gear to the crowd, Driver purposefully tossed a shoe to the young man, who had it stripped from his hands by the older woman.
Ereth later apologized for jacking the shoe and Driver—a perennial class act—sought Wagner out on social media and loaded him up with free gear.
Punishment: Ereth attempted to apologize for her transgressions, but temporary insanity is no defense in this court.
Arena Football Nozzle Strong Arms Ball from Kid
He laid out, hit the deck and played tug of war with a child.
According to the uploader of this video (who apparently transferred this footage to YouTube via toaster), the man in question denies seeing the kid while struggling for the ball, which would lead one to presume he's legally blind.
Funny how every adult develops pinprick tunnel vision the moment something they desire enters their physical domain.
Punishment: He showed zero awareness and zero remorse, leaving me no choice in this matter.
Another Child's Heart Broken
It's truly amazing the lengths some fans will go for a foul ball.
In this case, we have another grown man outrunning a child for a loose ball rolling under the seats at a 2010 Oakland A's game. This hefty bucket of wrong priorities snatched up the ball and truffle trotted his way back to his seat. Fortunately, a nearby man possessing a soul gave the child a different ball to assuage his grief.
At this point you might have noticed a certain trend with these perpetrators: Almost none are wearing team gear, which probably means most of these people are just random misanthropes with zero knowledge of the game. Please, people. Educate your friends before taking them to the ball park.
Punishment: Fetch the cinder block!
Man Boxes Out, Denies Little Girl the Ball
It's a well-worn tale a this point: Myopically competitive dude uses his superior reach to smash a kid's hopes into kindling.
In this instance, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers flipped a ball to a young girl near the dugout, only to have it picked off by a guy likely five times her age. The situation was eventually remedied, that is, after the guys in the broadcast booth indulged in five minutes of sullen youngster coverage.
Punishment: Twenty-four hours of community service, all of which he'll spend bathing Mike Francesa.
Yankees Fan Attempts Highway Robbery
This is how you do it, folks.
Derek Jeter has been around long enough to know that throwing a baseball into the crowd can be like tossing a chumsicle to sharks. Frenzies occur and it's more than likely someone will be bit.
For this reason the Yankees vet was extra careful doling out a spare ball at a game this April. Jeter approached the fence slowly, pointing deliberately at the young girl who was his intended target.
Nonetheless, one crazed fan still leaped up and attempted to snatch the souvenir from his hands as he held it out to the youngster. The good news is Jeter still has snappy enough reflexes to avoid being punked by some pushy fan. Yeah, Jeets.
Punishment: After consulting both the old and the new gods, I've decided she must wear lead clogs without socks to all baseball games she attends from now until Ragnarok.
On the Twitters, doling out social justice as only a pithy sports blogger can.