A home run ball these days has become more than just run/s on the board but a valuable treasure and a special keepsake for fan/athlete. Catching a home run ball can lead to a lawsuit over ownership of the ball to making a king's ransom by selling it on eBay to having a piece of baseball history in a display case in your home. Yet with all this importance put on home run balls many fans still see it fitting to throw back home run balls hit by the opposing team. Some fans get so excited they throw back foul balls!
This tradition is quite controversial and often debated by many baseball fans. The environment around the crowd after a home run ball is caught can be quite hostile. However, no matter the discussion on this tradition it can be carried out by fans of all ages.
This all started with a group of Chicago Cubs fans at Wrigley Field, the Left Field Bleacher Bums of the 1960s. This original group of ten college students, construction workers and bartenders are said to be the founders of this baseball tradition. However, traditions have their exceptions and any fan that catches a four-base knock by Junior fits that single exception.
From Alex Rodriguez to Albert Pujols to Joe Mauer we have all seen these All-Stars' home run balls come flying back onto the field as the visiting team. On the contrary, home run balls that are blasted by Griffey are a souvenir for any baseball fan and are cherished regardless of the impact on the scoreboard.
Have you noticed that Griffey receives no boo birds or heckling when he hits a tape-measure shot? Instead everyone sits and instills a memory in their head of the spectacle that they have just witnessed. The lucky fan who managed to snag the Griffey big fly often feels a sense of overwhelming sensation having just caught one of some six hundred plus home runs hit by this future hall of famer. The fan then stores the ball away safely and play resumes with no interruption. That is a Ken Griffey Jr. home run experience, home or away.
And we have to ask, what does throwing a home run ball back really accomplish? Maybe 20 seconds of addition work for a ball boy or even player to grab off the field. That is nothing, we know you would do the right thing and just keep it! The odds of you catching another home run ball are not that great, let alone catching one from Junior. Unless you really can calculate the wind speed/weather patterns, pitching match-up, pitch selection, swing timing/effort and landing location of your favorite player at a single at bat we suggest you be satisfied with any home run ball you catch. Particularly one hit by a all-time great home run slugger, Ken Griffey Jr.
Lets give another fan the opportunity to possibly catch a great baseball keepsake in Anaheim, CA, a Ken Griffey Jr. home run ball. Help make it happen and vote for Junior for the 2010 MLB All-Star Game!
Vote for Junior