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Rangers fans say they never saw toddler, want apology

Apr 27, 2012, 12:31 AM EDT

Kid ball

There was a bit of controversy in the baseball world Wednesday night when a toddler at the Rangers-Yankees game broke into tears when a ball tossed into the stands appeared to be callously stolen by the couple sitting next to him.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and the couple wants everyone to know that they are not the evil monsters everyone thinks they are. Sean Leonard and Shannon Moore, who are getting married this weekend, told WFAA-TV they were attending their first Rangers game together and were so excited and into each other that they didn’t even notice the boy, or that he was crying.

“My fiance Shannon and I were honestly unaware of the situation of the little boy sitting next to us last night since we were so caught up in the excited and moment of being at our first Ranger’s baseball game together,” he wrote in a statement.

Leonard said as a soon-to-be large combined family of seven, that he and Shannon understand the emotions of a young child at a game. They spoke to News 8 Thursday afternoon.

“I love children, I would never hurt someone,” Shannon Moore said.

The boy eventually received a different ball from the Rangers, so all is good in the world.

Leonard, and Moore, however, said that the reaction on the internet has been hurtful, and they would like an apology from Yankees announcer Michael Kay, who insinuated on the air that they were insensitive.

Maybe Kay should throw in some candlesticks, or a place setting, too.

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  1. ningenito78 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I’m calling BULLS–T. Apologize? Hahahaha. He’s lucky the dad didn’t decide to give him some purple eyes for his wedding pictures.

    • Mike Luna - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      Why should the dad have hit him exactly? Did they shove the kid out of the way to get to the ball? Were they waving it in front of his face and mocking him with it?

      A lot of people think it’s silly for an adult to want a foul ball, but it would be even sillier for one adult to hit another over it. The kid is 3 years old. He’s not even going to remember what happened and he got another ball anyway!

      On top of that, I read that they offered the kid the ball when they realized that he was upset about it. The parents told them they could keep it.

      Odds are that the kid only wanted it because someone else had it. Kay had no reason to call these people out without considering that it may have just been a simple misunderstanding.

      • critter69 - Apr 27, 2012 at 5:32 AM

        Waving the ball in the face of the kid is (as is said in Yiddish) ‘playing kosher’?

      • phukyouk - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        thats not yiddish.

    • miketreedy - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      This is the dumbest discussion I’ve ever seen on this blog. Its even worse than when people start talking politics. Amazing that we all have this much time to discuss such pointless matters.

  2. Mike Luna - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Nice of Michael Kay to say straight up that they were “rubbing it in the kid’s face.” Very classy, Mike.

  3. syracuse451 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Didn’t see that crying, screaming kid? Everybody in their entire section probably noticed

    • Mike Luna - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      Kids cry and scream all the time for all sorts of reasons. The kid probably cried at the grocery store earlier that day for who knows why.

      When a kid cries and it’s not your kid and it’s not alone (as in, without a parent or guardian) everybody doesn’t rush to it to see what’s wrong. You just assume that whoever’s watching it will deal with whatever’s wrong.

      • Old Gator - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Children are horrible. Other people’s children are more horrible yet.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      My 3-year old cried like this this morning. He wanted to see my wife cooking eggs, but there was no one to lift him up. Then he said, “I want a Kleenex, Mommy!” I brought it to him, and he really lost it. “NO! MOMMY KLEENEX!”

      He’s the best. I’m laughing just thinking about it.

      Yes, toddlers cry like this all the time.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        When I look at that photo, I see the parents laughing. Everything’s okay, people. The kid is fine.

      • phukyouk - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        you mean tissue?

    • Chipmaker - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      I have no issue with them keeping the ball, but to not notice a crying toddler RIGHT NEXT TO THEM? Not even a glance? That’s a level of obliviousness that I find hard to credit, but the video is clear, they simply did not notice at all. How can anyone be that lovey-dovey for each other and focusing on the game and whatnot, and apparently experience parents, and not notice at all? Come up for air sometime.

      • Marty - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        These two are baby boomers. Stomping on the young in a haze of euphoric oblivion us what they do.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    I’ve never caught a ball at a game before. Whenever I finally do, I’m keeping it no matter how many little kids are around me. They can have the second one I catch.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      I was thinking about this recently. Among the best reasons to have kids is that when I catch a ball at a game, I can pretend that I’m giving it to my daughter.

      Parenthood rules.

    • mybrunoblog - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Sorry folk i’m with this guy. I have been to over 100 MLB games and have come ohhhhh so close but never snagged a foul ball or a HR ball. When I finally get one I am keeping that SOB!

      • miketreedy - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        Dude you are an adult I assume. Grow up. If catching a worthless ball gives you more happiness then giving the ball to some kid you have your own issues. Now if we are talking about a record breaking ball worth lots of money that’s different.

        Remember this a kids game. Instead of trying to act like a kid again why not do something nice for one.

  5. chasemutley - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    That crybaby is going to grow up to be Fredo….

    • sasquash20 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:03 AM

      You must not have kids douche bag

      • hasbeen5 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        I have kids, one about that boy’s age. I teach him that he’s not entitled to everything he sees and sometimes things don’t go his way.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    The kid or his dad didn’t catch the ball. The couple deserves absolutely zero criticism.Quit painting these two as bad people. They’ve done nothing wrong.

  7. miketreedy - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    This is just another example of how crazy media has become in the internet world. Things are going out so fast that nobody takes the time to verify the real story. This guy and his soon to be wife are all over the news just because they caught a baseball at a game. Millions of people have seen there faces and have already been told they are bad people. For all we know the guy may run a hospital for sick kids and and was planning to take the ball back to some kids.

    People need to hit the chill pill and stop over reacting before they learn the facts on these stories. Also, the media needs to make sure they have the story right before spreading news across their sites and blogs. It can be very dangerous.

    • nineroutsider - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      Very well said. What a dumb story. That announcer is an idiot. Is he the one who does “THHHHHHHEEEE Yankees win!, the yankees win!” call?

      • ThisIsBaseball - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:20 AM

        No. That’s John Sterling.

      • crisisofinfinitephils - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        Yes sterling would’ve said ‘The kid caught the ball! No. No he didn’t. I can’t see our monitor. That’s baseball Suzanne! Blah blah showtunes!’

    • chadjones27 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      Thumbs up for use of the term “chill pill”

    • chumthumper - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Your final paragraph implies responsibility and accountability. Sadly and unfortunately, ain’t gonna happen.

  8. anjichpa - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    This occurred in the 8th inning of a high-scoring game, and they didn’t think to give the ball to the (now crying) little kid that’s probably been sitting next to them the entire game? I believe them when they say they were too excited and into each other to notice the kid. Their explanation does nothing to change my perception that they’re self-absorbed.

    • paperlions - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      Honest question: why should you give a crap about some stranger’s crying kid? Who is probably 2 hrs past his bed time and been crying nearly the entire game?

      Just because parents insist on doing things with their kids that diminish the experience of those around them doesn’t mean everyone around has to cater to the kid or his parents.

      • paperlions - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        To clarify, ignoring strangers to enjoy an event with your fiance does not qualify in any way, shape, or form, as being self absorbed.

      • phillyphreak - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Are you implying that taking your kid to a baseball game “diminish the experience of those around them?” Kids cry. It doesn’t mean they’re spoiled, it doesn’t mean that they are being rewarded every time they cry. They cry.

        I’m actually pretty sure that you’re not implying that, or at least I hope you’re not.

  9. sasquash20 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    I don’t think the people should be buried the way they got buried, but I also don’t think they should be asking for a apology. It just makes more of the story, instead of it going away. Just move on and don’t do an interview. And if they ever get another ball give it to a kid. Good karma should follow.

    • paperlions - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 AM

      They have 5 kids of their own (assuming “family of 7” includes the parents), nearly every adult has child relatives that would like to have a ball from a MLB game…why should be be obliged to give it to a stranger?

  10. randygnyc - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    Nineroutsider- no. That is John Sterlings call, the “Yankees win”. He does the Yankees radio broadcasts. Kay’s on the Yes channel on TV.

    Kay should have never said that. He’s always presuming to know what people in the stands are doing. Often times it’s outlandish speculation.

  11. butter7299 - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    I’ve seen adults rip balls out of kids hands….and it is a bit far fetched that they didn’t notice a 3 yr old next to them for an entire ball game. But the media is all about sensationalism, and the family with the three year old is on the today show this morning. So everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. Now everybody go away.

  12. yanks33 - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    Michael Kay is one of the nicest guys ever…he doesnt need to apologize for jack shit, bullshit these 2 morons didnt know there was a poor little kid crying next to them….

    • danrizzle - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      One of the nicest guys ever, really? There must be a lot I don’t know about him. Here’s a crazy stat for you that I heard today, though: people who routinely make brash statement about the intentions of people they do not know are usually not the nicest people ever.

    • hasbeen5 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Is that you, Michael Kay?

    • phukyouk - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Working with Michael Kay for a few yrs at WCBS i can assure you he is nothing closes to “one of the nicest guys ever” hes actually kind of a douchebag

      • 18thstreet - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Pedro Gomez can tell, just by looking at Michael Kay, what kind of a person he is.

      • bpearse230 - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        I am a fellow Fordham alumn, and the guy walks around sporting events (if you can call them that) there like he’s god’s gift. And I agree with the sentiment that just because the kid is crying doesn’t mean he gets a ball. That’s not how I was raised. I got something other than a ball that’s for sure.

  13. ptho16 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    I think the couple’s excuse about “not seeing the kid” makes them more bad people than the action. Really? You were so enamored with the game that you didn’t notice a child sitting next to you the whole game?

    • slopmcflop - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      No kidding! Instead of watching the game, they should have been oogling a toddler seated next to them for 3 hours! How self absorbed of them not to! Then they should have followed the toddlers family home and peered in his window to watch him sleep! You know, just to make sure he was alright! Because the toddlers wellbeing and happiness is totally these two strangers problem! Boy howdy!

  14. phillyphreak - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    I would probably disagree with the whole “callously stolen” or “snatched” portrayals of the situation. Watch any foul ball or ball tossed into the stands and there are tons of hands that reach out for it, people who dive for it etc. I’m sure they were legitimately excited by the ball, not by stealing from a little kid.

    That said, I think it’s pretty hard for someone to believe that those two didn’t see the child crying when they were a) all up on each other and/or b) taking pictures with he ball. At the very least, the guy noticed it later when he started talking to the parents. Should he have probably given the kid the ball? Yep.

    • paperlions - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      Again, between them….they have 5 kids….might be reasonable to keep the ball to give to one of your own, no?

      • phillyphreak - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        Totally fair point.

  15. cburmester85 - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Hey take it easy on this guy he was just trying to impress his future trophy wife and is just thrilled that she chose to spend the night with him at a baseball game instead of going out with her much younger boyfriend that we all know she has. Some people are just stupid and these are 2 of them.

  16. paperlions - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    As an aside, if you think the ball should have been given to the kid BECAUSE he was crying, you forfeit the right to ever complain about spoiled or crying kids.

    Humans are not so sophisticated in how they learn…they do it like everything else, by consequence. When a kid cries (even from a young age) and it gets something it wants, the behavior was a success, increasing the likelihood that it will be used in the future. Typically, kids will start to employ the behavior in more scenarios to explore the bounds of success of the behavior. If every time a kid cries it gets something it want, it isn’t a bad kid, it just has a parent that taught it that crying is an effective strategy in life.

    The more closely the consequence is associated with the action, the quicker learning occurs and the more ingrained the behavior will be. One reason credit card debt is a rampant problem is because the irresponsible behavior (spending money you don’t have) is immediately rewarded (you get something you want), whereas the punishment (payment due) is delayed. The longer the time lag, the harder it is for people (or any animal) to attach the consequence to the action and behave in accordance with the consequence.

  17. philly4lyfe - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    I caught a foul ball once at a phillies/orioles game. It was hit by Kevin stocker, and Kim batiste, the ot’s 3rd baseman slid to get it and hit his knee on the fence ad didn’t get up for a few minutes. I leaned over the fence and showed him the ball and asked him if that was what he was looking for.

    • Old Gator - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Trez excellent.

  18. bbil2012 - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    These two people love the attention.Otherwise they would have kept quiet.
    I say get the three of them (Kay and the happy couple) on Centerstage for a Springer-like confrontation.

  19. angrycorgi - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    I can see both sides of this, but I still come back to one thing: The normal human reaction when seeing a small child in some sort of distress is to feel concern about it and try to help. I just find it very callous to see people going out of their way to ignore the little kid. As a Ranger fan and Texas Native, I hope that couple is not originally from the DFW area.

  20. linedrivehit - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    If you watch the video closely, you can plainly see they were totally oblivious to the child crying next to them. They grabbed a foul ball and started celebrating. They clearly did not see the child. I thought it was WAAAAY overblown.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      I’m going to stick a crying 3 year next to you and see if you can tell me with a straight face that you can’t hear him.

  21. teamobijuan - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    White people problems.

  22. vader7176 - Apr 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    For all of you defending the dude and his soon to be trophy wife, get some perspective and look st the tape. They knew the kid was there and that he was bawling. Their body language shows that. He wants an apology? What a d-bag.

  23. cleverbob - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    1) It’s not everyone’s responsibility to pander to some stranger’s crying child. Go ahead if you feel so inclined, or don’t.

    2) Crying children shouldn’t automatically get what they want.

    3) Unless the ball has some special significance and/or monetary value, why hold onto it? You’re grown adults, acting like fools over meaningless foul balls. Instead of waving to everyone like grinning idiots, give it to a child that will think it’s the greatest gift ever.

    4) Why is this so newsworthy? This actually made ABC World News last night. I don’t normally watch (ever) but I kind of expected more from Diane Sawyer. Stupid me.

  24. salvomania - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    The first thing I noticed in the video is that the kid is crying IMMEDIATELY after the scrum, before it’s even apparent who even has the ball, and before the kid can even process that there even IS a ball.

    I’m pretty sure the kid is crying because he got scared by all the sudden commotion: one second he’s sitting on his dad’s lap, the next thing he knows everyone around him is leaping to their feat and he’s getting jostled.

    I don’t think the kid was even aware for one second during all this that there even WAS a ball, and when someone finally gave him a ball, I STILL don’t think he knew why he was getting it, unless it was that he was upset and someone was being nice to him for some reason.

    • miketreedy - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Damn, you are really spending that much time analyzing the video to see at what moment the baby started crying. I can’t imagine how much time you have spent watching the Kennedy assignation tapes over the years. You must be a fun guy to watch a game with when a dvr is involved. One game probably takes 8 freaking hours.

  25. steviep23 - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Damn that’s some pretty bad karma they’re setting themselves up for. Steal a souvenir from a little kid and then act like you did not see or hear him?

    • hustleandflomax - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      The term ‘steal’ would imply the kid had ownership of the ball. He most certainly did not. People make a fuss over the stupidest crap. I completely agree with the people that say that kids are not entitled to something just because they cry. We are steadily becoming a nation of judgmental, butt-hurt pussies.

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