Reacting Without Thinking

He was just a man sitting in a crowd watching a baseball game. His face and clothes blended in with all the other faces in the crowd at the Wrigley Field baseball stadium. The Chicago Cubs were holding a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and suddenly the ball was hit to left field directly in the path of the man sitting in the front row. Without hesitation or thought he stood up and reached his left hand out and literally caught the ball inches above the hands of the Chicago Cubs' left fielder, Moises Alou. What a moment!  One man was reaching for a souvenir, another reaching for a spot in the World Series and both of their lives changed.

He was just a man sitting in a crowd watching a baseball game. His face and clothes blended in with all the other faces in the crowd at the Wrigley Field baseball stadium. The Chicago Cubs were holding a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and suddenly the ball was hit...The fan wasn't the only one reaching for the ball.  There were others, but when they realized the man took it from the left fielder, they were angry with him.  They accused him of interfering in the destination of Cubs. I remember another time that I witnessed a disturbing moment on a baseball field.  It was in a small town in Georgia where my husband was the little league coach. A little boy on his team was standing at home plate poised with his bat lifted slightly above his head. Dust was swirling around his feet. Strike one and two and three balls had already come and gone, and the crowd on the sidelines was waiting for him to make a good hit and bring his two teammates home to win the tournament. The day was hot, the crowd of parents and onlookers were tense and the little nine-year-old boy was sweating. Suddenly the boy facing him threw the ball directly across the plate with a mighty speed for such a young pitcher. The little boy saw it coming, flinched and swung as hard as he could, missed and almost fell down. The woman sitting on the second bleachers near the field looked like every other anxious parent cheering their child on.  When her son missed the ball, without hesitation or thought she jumped up and shouted an obscenity at the child. It was a sad and embarrassing moment for the little boy. He looked up at the bleachers in disbelief.

The fan at Wrigley stadium had to be escorted off the field because the Cubs' fans were so angry.  They threw bottles and garbage at him because they were disappointed at the Cubs loss and blamed him. The mom was also asked to leave the field that day and she took her humiliated child with her.

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The media tried to interview the man who caught the ball at Wrigley's Field and he declined, but he sent a statement saying he was sorry from the bottom of his heart.   Even so he will probably never be the same.  The media will surely not rest until they get his story and he may suffer other repercussions.

We never saw the little boy at the softball field again.  He and his family moved away before the next season. I did speak to his mom once in the grocery store.  She said she was really embarrassed that she had lost her temper at the game. I imagine the fan at Wrigley's field wishes he could go back and change that moment.  He never thought of the consequences. He was just reacting. So was the angry mom on the softball field.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more