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Sunday, May 09, 2004

You Don't Have To Throw It Back! 

You're sitting in right field. The M's are in the field, and the hitter belts one your way. You catch it (bare-handed, of course) on the fly flawlessly and hold it high in the air for all to admire. Within seconds, the chant begins. "THROW-IT-BACK! THROW-IT-BACK! THROW-IT-BACK!" What do you do? If you give in to the pressure and throw it back into the outfield, the ballgirl retrieves the ball and hands it to the snot-nosed punk rich kid in the front row who already has probably a bucketload in his closet at home in Mercer Island or Medina (not that there's anything wrong with MI, Leah). You could keep the ball for yourself, but that's not cool, either. The way I see it, there are two respectable courses of action.

Take a shot at the hitter.
This only can be done if you field the ball cleanly (as any fan worth his beer should) and are sitting near the aisle. Catch it clean, get to the aisle, and try to get him as he comes around second. It's about 250 feet or so, but if you have an arm, put some air under it and give it a shot. Or, you could...

Give it to a kid.
And not the rich punk kid, either. When you get to the game, look around your section and pick out your kid in advance so you can quickly make the transfer to the lucky kid when the time comes. If you get little Billy the ball right away, you should nip the "Throw It Back" chant in the bud.

Corollary: What The Punk Rich Kid Should Do If He Gets The Ball
I'd love to see the ballgirl give the home run ball to a kid in the first row, and see that kid throw the ball right back on to the field. Then the ballgirl chases it down and give it to another kid, who throws it back on to the field again. I'd love to see how many times they could make the ballgirl go get the ball before she just gives up.

This "throw it back" thing has gone too far in Seattle, and most other ballparks not named Wrigley. Let's come up with our own thing for once.

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