Let’s start with this: Yes, the fan probably should have been ejected from the game. You can’t interfere with a ball that is in play.
But, man, this security guard at the Atlanta Braves game on Wednesday night blew it by then taking the ball from the little kid.
The Braves were playing the Pirates when Atlanta’s Rio Ruiz hit a ball down the first-base line. A fan with a glove leaned over the wall and grabbed the ball, which is a no-no. The fan then handed it to a young boy, who was overjoyed to get the souvenir.
That excitement lasted all of 6 seconds.
The tenacious security guard was leading the man up the stairs when he went back and retrieved the ball. I think the Braves announcer who quoted a line from the movie “Stripes” said it best: “Lighten up, Francis.”
ESPN reported that the Braves gave a baseball autographed by All-Star Freddie Freeman to the boy, and that he was invited back to a game for his birthday. The man who got the ball also was allowed back to his seat, ESPN said.
I’m not sure why the kid didn’t get to keep the original ball.