July 17, 2010

Life is NOT Fair

By Paul Bieber

This blog is a complaint blog. If you don’t want to read my whining, click out now.

Anyone who know me or reads my blogs knows that I enjoy baseball. Over my life, I have been to probably eight or nine hundred major league games, hundreds more in minor leagues, and little league games in the thousands.

In the thousand or so professional games I have never caught a fair home run or a foul ball, during a game or during batting practice. (If you don’t go for batting practice before the game, you are not a fan.) I have been tossed balls by players when hanging over the fence. Maybe a hundred or so. It helps to have a young and cute kid with you. But never, have I caught a ball directly off a bat. Never. I still bring my glove to games. You never know when you are in the perfect seat.

I have been near balls, but never near enough. Once I was at a game with my friend Chuck Kaplanek and our kids. His son, Chris, who was at his second or third game of his life at about 8 years old, caught a home run ball, two seats over from me. We were thrilled for him. The next day Chuck told that Chris threw the ball down a sewer in the street. I cried. That was the closest I have been.

At the 2000 World Series between the Yanks and the Mets, my daughter, about 14 at the time, had a ball fall in front of her. This gnarly old lady pushed her down, twisted her hands and arm to the point of Jessica screaming, and tore the ball from her hands. I guess she really wanted it. I told Jessica I would get her another. That was 12 years ago and she is still waiting.

So here is my complaint about life. Last week, Mr. Adam Koltun, at a game in Miami, caught two foul balls, on two successive pitches. He was a gentleman and gave one of the balls to a young boy seating near him. That is classy.

But NOT fair.

I have been to a Marlins game in Miami and didn’t catch even one.

So, Adam, what is your secret? What did you have for breakfast that day? What clothes were you wearing? Had you just helped a little old lady cross the street? Did you say a prayer? Did you remember your mother-in-law’s birthday? Come on, what did you do that can be copied by a guy like me?

In my home office, just off the kitchen, I have over two hundred baseballs on shelves around the room. Many from great little league games, some purchased, some given as gifts, some tossed to me by big-leaguers. None caught. I am just about out of space, but have reserved one spot for ‘the’ ball. I am expecting it at the very next game I go to.