There are very few people in this world who get to experience what sports stars experience. You know what I’m talking about — it’s that rush of catching a ball and having people cheer and chant your name. I don’t think there’s anything quite like that rush.
The closest we can get to experience such a rush is by being lucky enough to catch the ball while sitting in the stands. It’s not as exciting but it’s still quite amazing when you’re in it. A ball drenched in the sweat of the sports stars you admire? Yes, please!
Ryan Baker got to experience such a rush. This 15-year-old was watching a Chicago White Sox game with his mother when suddenly the ball came soaring in his direction. It was his moment to catch that foul ball.
Thankfully, there weren’t a lot of people in Ryan’s section to fight for the ball. There were only three people there. Oh, but, one of these people would prove to be feisty and with no real idea of what etiquette is.
Three people flew to try and catch the ball but Ryan was the closest to where it fell and he managed to grab it first. For a second, Ryan stood victorious, proudly holding the ball in his hand. But the joy was cut short very quickly as one woman, a stranger, reached and took the ball out of his hand.
Now, because there’s justice in the world sometimes, this woman’s rude behavior was caught on camera. The audience gasped as she snatched away the ball from Ryan’s hand. Women were seen clutching their pearls and holding their chest. There was madness for a while there.
Even the announcers gasped at this woman’s behavior. She clearly has no idea what sportsmanship is or for that matter, what etiquette is. “She said it was her ball because it almost hit her,” Ryan explained later. “I was in disbelief!”
The cameras stayed on the stands. Ryan was seen throwing his arms up, but in the end, he simply walked away from this woman without really arguing with her. What was he going to do, snatch it back from her hands? That would have been in bad taste and really, she’s not worth it.
Luckily, Ryan’s maturity paid off. You see, there was another person who had watched the whole thing — Brooks Boyer, the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the White Sox. Boyer had to do something for Ryan, something better than a foul ball hit his way.
And so, Boyer got another ball and had Jason Benetti and Steve Stone sign it for him. Then Boyer delivered the ball personally to Ryan. The teen said it was “a huge honor” that Boyer took the time to come and give him the ball. But that was not all Boyer did.
Boyer felt that this teen deserved even more than a signed ball. So, he invited Ryan as “a special guest” at the next home game. There, the teen got to meet the players and even visit the broadcast booth. I guess getting that ball snatched out of his hand was the best thing that could have happened for this teen.