June 07, 2010
My favorite part of Joe Posnanski's "Soul of Baseball" is when Buck O'Neil refuses to boo a man for not giving a freshly caught foul ball to a nearby child.
"Don't be so hard on him," the late baseball legend famously tells Joe. "He might have a kid of his own at home."
It was an incredibly astute observation and one that I've often used as a reminder that there's probably always more to the story that we can't see.
Of course, sometimes you can see the whole story and it turns out to be just as complicated. Such was the case at Citi Field on Sunday when a grown man named Mike Terry saw New York Mets star David Wright(notes) throwing a ball into the stands and instinctively leaned over the railing to catch the offering for his 3-year-old son, Mackey.
Well, not quite. Wright had meant to throw the ball to 10-year-old Ethan Edelman, who was standing across the aisle. When Terry's long reach unwittingly intercepted the ball from him, he garnered boos from the crowd and attention from the television cameras and tabloids.
I'll take screencaps worth 1,000 words, Alex:
"I didn't realize there was a little boy behind me," insisted Terry, of Commack, L.I. "I gave it to my little guy, and all [of a] sudden the whole crowd was booing me. I don't think they realized that I gave it to [my] kid."
For those of you who like heart-warming endings, this story luckily has three. After realizing that Wright earmarked the ball for Edelman, Terry passed the ball across the aisle to make amends.
Then Wright — who felt bad for the abuse that Terry was taking from the crowd — arranged to have baseballs delivered to Mackey and his older brother, Michael, the next inning. All three young boys went home with souvenirs and — perhaps more impressively — one poor dad found his way out of a complicated pickle.
Watch video of the incident below:
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