No, I’m not in any legal trouble. There’s just a small law-related baseball mystery that I’m trying to solve for my book, and I’m hoping someone might be able to help.
First of all, did you know that fans weren’t allowed to keep baseballs in the old days?
And that fans often tried to keep baseballs anyway and often got in serious trouble?
Well, according to one of my sources, the last major incident took place in 1937 at — where else? — Yankee Stadium. There was a fan who tried to retrieve a foul ball that had gotten stuck in the protective netting behind the plate. Guess what happened next? He got roughed up by stadium security (Shocker!) and ended up successfully suing the team (Ha-HAAA!!!) for $7,500. Now, it’s possible that security went after him because he did something stupid, like trying to climb up and grab it. I don’t know. But it’s still a cool story either way. (And no, I’m not trying to be anti-Yankees. I’m just telling it like it is. The New York Giants were actually the worst team in terms of hassling fans for baseballs 100 years ago. And now the San Francisco Giants are the best.)
The main thing I want to find out is this fan’s name. My source doesn’t reveal that. So I’m wondering if there’s some type of mega-database that lists all the lawsuits ever filed in the history of the universe. Or if there’s any other way that I might be able to find some details. (Obviously the Yankees aren’t gonna help.)
And by the way, this is totally unrelated, but there’s a documentary called “Holy Land Hardball” that’s going to be airing on the MLB Network tonight (January 10th) at 10pm ET. It’s about the Israeli Baseball League. I’ve already seen it. It’s really funny and interesting. Consider this my official recommendation to check it out…
I got it all under control now. A big thanks to the lawyers out there who left comments and emailed me with suggestions