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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. mjlmdixon - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    If it were me, I could not have said, “The kid has been crying all night and we don’t give in to crying children” So instead, maybe, they say they didn’t notice him. I love kids, but I wouldn’t appreciate paying for tickets and having to work on my patience instead of enjoying the game. Of course, I feel the same about the loudmouths who take no concern for anyone else in their language.

    • sincitybonobo - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      I go to dozens of ballgames per year. Though I am not fond of children, I do recognize the universal sense of entitlement they seem to have toward any foul ball snagged by an adult. So, I always bring a $6 logo ball with me. It’s still in the wrapper and it is from the gift shop of a Pacific Coast League team. I consider it my “give it to a kid” insurance. I’m keeping any gamer- but I will happily part with the logo ball. Anyone- of any age- who criticizes me after I hand a kid I don’t know a $6 souvenir won’t have much of an argument.

      • makjak2 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        always one step ahead.

      • ltzep75 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        how does this comment get voted down? In the above scenario, everyone walks away a winner.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        I guess there are at least 64 adults in the world who don’t understand the fascination with foul balls.

    • dsmaxsucks - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      If I were me, and heard someone talking like you, I would roll my eyes and save my language about you for when you were away. The kid was three, and he was crying. And by the way, when you are really a grown up you give the ball to a kid whether he is crying or not. Because you are a grownup.

      And then your lady friend probably thinks more highly of you too. Since they seem to like manners and grace and that sort of thing.

      But that’s just me. Perhaps its my knowledge that baseballs are for sale everywhere, and generosity is hard to find.

      • NJgriffNC - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        “…save my language about you for when you were away.” How cowardly is that?? You are so off base here. That couple paid for their seats. They are more than entitled to keep the ball if they so choose, and they should not feel bad about it.

      • purnellmeagrejr - May 2, 2012 at 8:08 AM

        dumb pr move – the couple should just shut up and go away a nd let everyone forget aboutr them – I already had.

      • Splinter48708 - May 26, 2014 at 3:06 AM

        Well, you are a true friend :) I know how fans are when it comes to getting a free baseball. When I worked at PETCO park, there’s a concession stand behind section 128 (Left field in home run territory near the Western Metal Building), I was assigned to that location and keeping the condiments stocked when, sure enough, a ball comes flying over the fence in mid-game. Some ^&(*%^ literally shoved me into the brick wall, just to get the ball I would have tossed to him anyway, as I couldn’t keep it (ball park rule) as the ball made it to where I was at. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt by the impact, just annoyed. *Sigh*

  2. Marty - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    They snagged the ball fair and square. But still, unless as an adult you’re a drooling idiot, a foul ball is useless. Find a kid to give it to.

    Here’s a tip: When I go to games (without my kids) I always take a look to see if there are kids sitting around me and make a note, so if a ball were to end up in my lap I know who to give it to.

    If the woman you are with has a problem with you giving the ball to someone who’d actually cherish the damn thing, then you better hope that ball gets you ‘around the bases’ with her later, because she’s not a keeper.

    • Marty - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      On second thought, F*** these two.

      The kind of people who’d demand an apology from the announcer are probably the kind of people who’d steal a ball from a kid.

      • illegalblues - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        YES. These two come of as really entitled ponces.

  3. cf17 - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    boo hoo kid…welcome to america

  4. kingjoe1 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    i dont beleive the couple. They now realize they look small and are trying to do damage control. I dont think they were rubbing it in the kids face you have to be a complete moron not to realize players toss the balls to kids not grown a$$ dopes who get their jollies from a $4 baseball.

  5. savocabol1 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Kids always get the freakin ball. It is time adults starting getting in on that action!

  6. slopmcflop - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Okay, asking for an apology is a little over the top, even though I do think one is warranted. If it were me, I’d just put my head down and wait for it to blow over (wait a couple days with society’s ADD).

    It’s very clear that the kid started to cry from the commotion, not the ball. He’s 3. He won’t remember this. He got a ball anyways. The ball was never in his possesion.

    But if we are to put this couple on blast, why are so many others exempt? I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people, GROWN ADULTS EVEN OMG, catch foul balls and have the AUDACITY to keep it for themselves! How come the media isn’t following every foul ball around and chastising every single adult who keeps one for themselves? What makes this couple so different? Because a kid was crying? What kind of response is that? The parents of the kid themselves didn’t even mind. Just the media and a bunch of internet white knights, who would probably act as the couple did if it happened to them.

    Seriously shocked at how much hate and vitriol is being put on this poor couple, out to enjoy their wedding weekend. Knee jerk reactions and judgments, from people who see a picture of a kid crying and assume the couple must have punched the kid in the face to get the ball.

    Take a second, breathe, think about the facts, hell, think about how YOU would act in that situation, and relax. If you think it’s selfish for an adult to cherish a game ball, than you obviously aren’t much of a sports fan.

    Next time there’s a kid crying in the grocery store because he wants some candy, you all better be ready to whip out your wallet and buy the kid a snickers. Jesus.

  7. Carl Hancock - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    That couple seems completely oblivious to the fact there is a toddler sitting right next to them. How is that even possible? If I’m sitting at a sports event right next to a kid that young, I’m going to notice it. How could you not?

    After watching the actual video clip, the obvious answer is just look at them. It looks like a middle-aged rich dude with his much younger future trophy wife. Completely self-absorbed in their own little bubble and oblivious to everyone around them.

    The commentary is hilarious on the video. Especially when they comment that the guy is rubbing it in the kids face.

    Good luck getting an apology. If you want to blame anyone for looking like pompous self-absorbed snobs… they should blame themselves. The celebrating, posing and photo taking is just silly. It wasn’t even a foul ball that he made an incredible catch of… it was tossed into the stands.

    I was at a Phillies game to see my Cardinals playing back during Pujols rookie season. Pujols hit a line drive foul ball that smacked the lady sitting directly in front of us in the side of the head. As everyone was attending to her, some fat middle aged man chased after the ball that rolled a few seats down and snagged it and kept it for himself. Didn’t even offer it to the lady who left soon after to receive medical attention. Philly fans suck.

  8. corvusrex96 - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Not buying the ” we didn’t notice them” comment . Look at the video and see the woman’s reaction . She is very of the family and steals a few quick glances over at them.

    That being said I have no problem with them keeping the ball.

    • Dogsweat - May 19, 2014 at 9:47 PM


      How can anyone not notice a screaming kid?

      Agreed, they should keep the ball.

  9. rooney24 - May 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Why is it assumed that the kid should always get the ball? If the kid had the ball, or the player had pointed him out and tossed it to him, then the kid should get it. Otherwise, baseball is supposed to appeal to the kid in all of us. I am in my 40’s, go to a few games a year, and have never gotten close enough to even make a grab at a ball. If I get one, why should I have to give it up to some kid that will have another 40 years to get one?

    On a slightly different note, is it really safe for a kid that small to be sitting in seats that close to the field? If a hard foul ball comes flying in, his parents have zero chance of protecting him, and you can’t tell me a kid that small will ever remember that game or get anything out of it. Leave the kids home until they are at least in the 8-10 range and might be able to dodge a ball.

  10. knew8411 - May 6, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Am I in the minority when I say: “I am tired of these yearly stories, where some little spoiled kid doent get a ball at a game he starts wailing?”
    I am sick to death of it….unless the kid has the ball in his/her hands….its not theirs. I am not saying I would not turn a ball over to a child near me….I likely would. But to have these kids and/or the parents think that just because junior is at a ball gam and a ball lands w/i two rows of him/her that it is theirs is complete and utter Bull S*&t.

  11. patriottony - May 12, 2014 at 5:28 AM

    ARE you JACKA*** for REAL? BASEBALL above all other sports is directed to little boys who want to grow up and play for the SOX or the Yankees etc. I don’t give a rats Pitoootee, if you are engaged or just married, you let the lil kid catch and keep the ball, PERIOD!! I’m sorry if the the 20/30 something crowd thinks screw the kid, we need it …really? REALLY?

    • mkprz - May 24, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Yes, the guy messed up.
      After the fact, the dad needs to father-up and get the kid a ball from the souvenir stand, instead of sitting there like some injured woman.

  12. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - May 12, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    There aint no cryin’ in baseball, kid. Grow up.

  13. bbk1000 - May 13, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    They want an apology? Go crawl back in your hole…..

    I love these “adults” who want these balls so much. It’s sad….

    Read below a quick description of the incident from….great stuff.

    “Mitch Moreland tosses a ball toward a kid in the Rangers Ballpark stands. That guy snatches it away. The kid starts crying. That guy makes out with his girlfriend”

  14. gackpartyof4 - May 19, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I guess the lesson here is that people named Shannon have bad luck at Rangers games.

  15. mkprz - May 24, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Dad should go buy his son a ball instead of letting him cry.
    Maybe the fan kept the ball, that still doesn’t stop dad from manning-up and taking care of his kid.
    So they took the ball. Go buy him one from the stands.

  16. lukedunphysscienceproject - May 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Here’s why an adult who snags a fly ball should give it to the nearest child, regardless of whether or not the child is crying:

    Adults, unlike children, are supposed to know that foul balls are worthless. They bear no significance on the game, and will certainly never have any value. Sure, grab the ball, stick it up in there, get the applause, find a recording of the game so you can see yourself on TV, have your moment. But for God’s sake, a kid will carry that ball around for weeks and cherish forever, or at least until he becomes a teenager.

    It’s called perspective. And if you on here asserting your “right” to keep a ball you caught fair and square, children be damned, than you don’t have any.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - May 27, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      “stick it up in the air” not “stick it up in there”

      Although if you are an adult and you’re pissed because everyone thinks you should give foul balls to kids, maybe you should take that foul ball and do the latter.

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