“You are a sad/worthless dude!!!”

Check out this email that I received the other day:

My first thought upon reading this was, “Why don’t YOU do the right thing and put a space in between sentences?” My second thought had to do with blocking the guy’s address so that if he ever wrote again, his emails would automatically be deleted. It’s something I often do with spammers, but rarely with haters. I don’t need to. Most of the emails I receive are friendly, and I don’t even bother reading — let alone responding to — the ones that aren’t. But this time things were different. I decided to answer the guy (and tweet about it). Here’s what I said:

That was it — just a quick question to get more info. I hadn’t been to Camden Yards this season, so why was this random guy accusing me of something? Was he confusing me with someone else? It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time. I once got the nastiest email from someone who blamed me for stealing a ball from his kid at a specific game . . . that I hadn’t even attended. Anyway, this was the reply:

August 10th? I couldn’t remember where I’d been that day, so I looked at this list, and sure enough, I was at Camden Yards. But so what? Just because I was there didn’t make this guy right. In fact, I knew he wasn’t right, and here’s what I told him:

In my response above, the word “this” linked to a recent blog entry called “In Defense of a Ballhawk,” written by a gentleman named Andrew Gonsalves. If you haven’t yet read it, I command you to do so immediately! But anyway, I wasn’t sure what kind of response I was going to get from the guy. I kind of expected him not to write back at all, but when I woke up the next morning, this was in my inbox:

Wow. Just wow. All I could say was . . .

For the record, there ARE times when I believe that kids don’t deserve baseballs, but I don’t run around preaching it at games. I’ll say it here, though. I’m talking about gloveless kids who pay more attention to their cotton candy than to the action on the field. We’ve all seen them, right? When people nag me about giving baseballs to kids like that, I get annoyed. When I give baseballs away, I do it on my own terms, not because I’m being begged or bullied, and I only give ‘em to kids with gloves. That’s all. Just had to share.

10 Comments

Nice response…I like the calm responses. Many people would respond trying to match that aggression.

I agree with connor. The easy, calm responses were spot on. No need to be defesive before you need defending. Then the link, beautiful.
I also agree with you. One of my favorite things to see is the joy on a kids face when you smack that ball into their glove, or if you hand/toss it to them and they smack it into their own glove over and over. You can see right away that it will mean a lot to them. Those are the kids that I really enjoy hooking up. Especially if I’ve seen them trying and/or taking advice to try on their own. The ‘thanks’ from dads are cool, but seeing the kids is the real reward.
(PS – After reading your post, I was tempted to write this withoutanyspaces.)

Oh, and it would have been a nice little ‘cherry on top’ if your last email would have included a link to the PIFB blog entry that you tweeted about.

I also give baseballs to kids. Kids who are so small and get pushed back by other KIDS. I’ve seen kids haul in quite a few baseballs but some people misunderstand the regular hawkers. I was called a douche bag last season by a 20 something female because I snatched a ball that was bouncing around before she did. If she had been polite and asked me if she could have one, I would’ve given it to her even though her boyfriend had stood in front of me, gloveless (he put his hand in front of the ball as it was nearing my glove, deflecting it away). If any parent came up to me and asked me politely to give their kid a ball, I would do so happily.

“For the record, there ARE times when I believe that kids don’t deserve baseballs, but I don’t run around preaching it at games. I’ll say it here, though. I’m talking about gloveless kids who pay more attention to their cotton candy than to the action on the field. We’ve all seen them, right? When people nag me about giving baseballs to kids like that, I get annoyed. When I give baseballs away, I do it on my own terms, not because I’m being begged or bullied, and I only give ‘em to kids with gloves. That’s all. Just had to share.”

Quoting for truth! I can’t stand that knee-jerk, “give it to the kid!” reaction!

People are so rude, I would have found it hard to take him seriously with his grammar/puntuation haha.

How much of this hate mail do you receive a day? That’s sad that people send this crap to you. This isn’t as bad as the other stuff you’ve posted on here though.

CONNOR-
Thanks. I’m not always calm, but sometimes I manage.

TODD A-
Well said. :-)

BALL MAGNET-
I hear ya. Some people seem to get pissed off for no reason. It’s like it’s their default attitude in life.

CARTOON BIRD-
Ha . . . “quoting for truth.” I love it. Thanks.

GB AUTO COLLECTOR-
People have a right to get upset. It just doesn’t mean that they’re right.

AUSTIN-
Very little, actually — just a few times a year, on average. I’m glad that more people aren’t pissed off at me, but I’m not really surprised because I try hard to be respectful and generous with my baseballs. Am I perfect? No. But who is?

What makes me mad about this is that he wrote a nasty email where he called you names, bashed your hobby and formed an inaccurate conclusion about a situation based on what his brother told him – he wasn’t even at the game! Then he tried to claim they can only afford a game every few years…false (see below). His only saving grace is that he was man enough to apologize when you pointed out that he must have mistaken you for someone else. Most people would have insisted they were right after making such a bold initial statement.

I understand many factors determine how many times you can go to a ballgame (schedule, distance, etc) but when it comes to kids in the Baltimore area, price should never be a factor. 1) You can go to the team’s website and register to receive a voucher redeemable for a free ticket to one of several pre-selected games during your birthday month. This is for all fans, not just kids. If your birthday falls outside of the season they select a date range when the voucher is valid. 2) Orioles Dugout Club for kids 14 and under – For $20 you get a ticket to 8 games, a hat, lanyard, drawstring bag and giveaways for members. After the first year, returning memberships are $17. 3) Ollie’s Bargain Night – Every Tuesday night, Upper Reserve seats are $9. 4) Student Night – Every Friday night, Left Field Upper Reserve seats are $6 with a student ID (as a bonus, one Friday each month is fireworks night and it’s a great show). 5) On the lower concourse in the right field corner near the Warehouse, there is a concession stand (I don’t recall the name, something like “Kid’s Kitchen”) where they have hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks all for $1.50. And they sell those things to anyone, not just kids.

As far as them trying to get balls during warm-ups, I don’t know if Orioles security has an official policy but I’ve never been stopped from entering a field-level section before the game even if I didn’t have a ticket in that section – I’ve always been told the same thing the usher in Philly told you in your recent post – you just need to leave the section when the game starts. So they should be able to take advantage of one of the deals on tickets listed above and also hang out on the lower level before the game to snag some balls. Feel free to send this info to his email address.

One final thought/question and then I’ll wrap up this long-winded comment. Have you ever thoguht of doing charity watch with Zack games? Maybe team up with the YMCA or boys and girls clubs in NYC to take a few young baseball fans to a Mets game and snag some balls? When he said something about helping kids live their dreams, that idea came to mind. Not that you don’t already do plenty for charity… Ok, the end.

BEN-
Thanks so much for the long, informative, and thoughtful comment. Sorry for taking so long to reply. To answer your question, yes, I have thought about doing charity “Watch With Zack” games. In fact, I just got asked to offer one for a charity auction by the director of Pitch In For Baseball, so it might actually happen soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 303 other followers