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RBA
08-08-2007, 04:11 PM
Didn't see this in the Bonds thread. So if it's been posted before, please flag it for a mod to close. This article is more about people's greed and "the Ball" and not really about Bonds at all.



Mayhem ends, ball in hands of Mets fan

Demian Bulwa and Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writers (dbulwa@sfchronicle.com)
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
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Once again, the polite disagreement over who exactly is the rightful owner of one of Mr. Bonds' baseballs produced blood, bruises and bedlam.
Somebody ended up with the ball and, apparently, he fled the ballpark as quickly as he could.
Once again, it seemed that just about everyone in the center-field bleachers either touched the ball, almost touched the ball, might have touched the ball, or was touching someone who was touching the ball.
The arrival of the baseball with a secret mark set off a wicked scramble that could have passed for a goal line stand or the attack on Little Round Top.
When the big moment came, the ball flew into the third row of bleacher section 144. That's where Scott Johnson of Oakley was standing with three friends, who had agreed before the game on a four-way split of the proceeds from the ball if any one of them caught it.
Johnson said he got shoved by his friend, Brian Herman of Sacramento. Herman said he felt the ball glance off his fingertips.
"If I would have had a glove on tonight, I would have caught it," Herman said.
Before the game, a friend of Herman had offered him a glove, but he turned it down.
Randy Finley of Mountain View, just behind Johnson, said he touched the ball, too. Then he watched in horror as a woman got knocked over and her husband disappeared into the scrum, leaving their 4-year-old son to cower with his teddy bear. Finley said he never found out who they were but that it did not appear to be the pinnacle of responsible parenting.
Meanwhile, the ball was tipped from row 3, to row 4, to row 5. A fellow named Bryant Toth of San Francisco said he had "three fingers on the ball" before he lost it. He did not come away empty, however. For his efforts, he wound up with a cut on his right shin.
And then the ball struck the ground and a guy in a New York Mets jersey plopped down on it and wouldn't budge, while one fan after another tried to pull the ball away from him.
Some people pushed others to get to him. There was shoving, elbowing and possibly worse.
Security guards and cops showed up and began pulling children away from the grown-ups who were doing battle.
"Who has the ball, who has the ball, who has the ball?" the guards were hollering.
Then the security people dug into the pile, grabbed the guy in the Mets jersey and spirited him away. About six guards and cops escorted him in a phalanx worthy of a prince or potentate.
One woman, Amanda Nunez, a season ticket holder from San Francisco, admitted that she tried to pull the ball from the guy in the Mets jersey.
"I was holding on to his arm, I was trying to get the ball," she said.
After failing, she was thrown back in the scuffle and bumped her head, leaving her with a headache. She was one of about half a dozen fans injured in the scuffle, mostly with bruises, along with Toth's bloody shin.
Nunez said she ended up holding a flip-flop that she believes belongs to the guy in the Mets jersey. It wasn't the ball, but it was something. Maybe, she said, it was even a collector's item.
"Maybe, but that's kind of gross," she said.
About two hours later, a spokesman for the Giants said all that was known about the man with the ball was that his name was Matt Murphy, 22, of Queens, N.Y., and that he had purchased a ticket to the game on a whim. He was in San Francisco on his way to Australia, where he was headed Tuesday night.
It was not known what Murphy had done with the ball or what he plans to do with it, although money is probably involved.
There was plenty of heartbreak to go around. One young fan, 15-year-old Mark Jackson of Philadelphia, said he was sure he was the guy with the ball. But Jackson had fallen for the fake ball trick - during big home run scrambles, mischievous fans are known to toss other balls into the area to watch the resulting chaos.
Jackson picked up one of the fake balls, stuffed it into his pants and then headed below the bleachers to consult with security guards, who broke the bad news.
If Jackson had inspected the ball, the guard pointed out, he would have seen it was marked "CIAC" - which stands for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, not generally known as the supplier of Major League baseballs.
The rest of section 144 was aghast at the spectacle of the ball scuffle.
"Fists were flying, elbows were flying, people were digging, swinging, pulling on stuff, nobody cared about anything," said Chris Goelkel of San Francisco. "It was madness."
Alan Azem of San Mateo said, "It got to the point where people pushed other people just to get on him."
"They were pushing grandmothers to the floor," said Susan Kitchens of Campbell. "I was just trying to get away from it."
E-mail the reporters at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com (dbulwa@sfchronicle.com) or srubenstein@sfchronicle.com (srubenstein@sfchronicle.com). http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/08/MNDIREUUD1.DTL

ON SIDE NOTE: I'M 4 POST AWAY FROM 10,000. Not really a record by Krono standards. ;)

flyer85
08-08-2007, 04:18 PM
uplifting spectacle I'm sure.

NJReds
08-08-2007, 04:20 PM
Real nice.

MartyFan
08-08-2007, 04:29 PM
And that's why I love Baseball

jojo
08-08-2007, 04:53 PM
Just thank God that Bonds didn't hit the record breaker in Oakland....

Tommyjohn25
08-08-2007, 06:34 PM
I'm just glad he didn't hit it into the Cove. I would wager that there would have been a drowning or two.

smith288
08-08-2007, 07:02 PM
They should have strung up nets all around the park like they do behind home plate. That's just a horrible scene to imagine, especially the young child being left for a ball.