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The guy who stole that home run ball in Boston being called “The Angel of Fenway”

Oct 14, 2013, 4:38 PM EDT

fan rips ball out of hands

The guy who grabbed a home run ball out of a woman’s hand to throw it out onto the field, and who is reported to have called a black fan nearby “Trayvon” and “Prince Fielder‘s crackhead brother” has a fan club! It’s the mouth-breathers over at Barstool Sports Boston, who have dubbed this fine gentleman “The Angel of Fenway” and are quite upset that anyone thinks differently of the guy.

Upset at me in particular, as they quoted my post about it at length under an old picture of me and accused me of overreacting. It’s not racist to tell a black guy to “go back to the ghetto,” the Barstool guy says. Really!

They took specific issue with me when when I implied that the guy taking the baseball from the woman could be construed as assault and battery. But hey, don’t take the lawyer’s word for it. Here’s some legal discourse that absolves the guy in their view:

Has there ever been a bigger overreaction to anything in the history of earth than this guy’s take on the “Angel of Fenway” throwing that ball back last night? Trying to insinuate that it was the same thing as stealing her cell phone? That it was assault and battery. Umm no it’s not.  This wasn’t preplanned. This guy wasn’t taking it for himself.   It was pure instinct.  He did what he thought was right in the heat of the moment.  He was making a point. At worst it was a dickhead move. At best he won the game.

I think it says everything about the impotent wannabes at sites like Barstool that they think this guy could have “won the game.” They’re the sort of fans who believe they are far more important than the really are. Who believe that their ridiculously over-the-top passion actually has impact beyond allowing them to enjoy the game and making themselves feel better.  But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these guys, and not David Ortiz won it! Don’t doubt Boston pride! You wouldn’t understand!

In other news, I would suggest they take their own advice and see what it does for them. Go out and commit some actual crimes sometime, dudes, and tell the police that it’s OK because you didn’t preplan it and it was all in the heat of the moment. I’m pretty sure that’s a total defense to everything ever. One more:

But to start comparing it to a real crime is so far off the reservation crazy that it’s mind boggling.

Yeah, no one would ever think that taking a ball out of another fan’s hand by force is a crime. Well, except for police:

A teenager was assaulted and robbed of the home run ball he claims he retrieved Wednesday during the Giants’ loss to the Boston Red Sox at AT&T Park, police said. The 16-year-old was in the standing-only section above Levi’s Landing in right field when he scrambled to fetch the seventh-inning home run hit by the Red Sox’s Stephen Drew, Officer Albie Esparza said Thursday … Right after the victim took possession of the baseball, the suspect allegedly tackled him from behind, twisted his wrist, then pried the ball away and fled, Esparza said.

There was some he-said, he-said about it all but the fact of the matter is that police considered the matter a potential criminal act.

Oh, and the fan in that incident? The one who had the ball allegedly taken from him? Red Sox fan. How much you wanna bet that the Barstool guys are far more critical of the ball-snatcher there?

102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. theanswer0381 - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    i love the passion of those fans. i hate the bosox but to say he assaulted the woman is stupid. and oh boy he was racist? you act like black people dont call white people crackers ALL THE TIME. Whenever a white person does something racial its like murder yet black ppl do it without notice. Lighten up!

    • cur68 - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Yeah! Its TOTALLY the SAME thing when us darkies get called called darkies and we say “cracker”! Know why? Because history tells us (recent history!) that White Folk and Black Folk have been equally oppressed and enslaved (and even abused there at Fenway! Yes! All those white folks Tom Yawky kept off the Red Sox for all those years…why was he so MEAN to the crackers?). So its the same…or something….or maybe you don’t have a fucking clue…

      • eightyraw - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        Only point out racism when it happens to white people. Otherwise, it makes white people feel like they aren’t the target of racism.

      • American of African Descent - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:48 PM


      • cur68 - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        What about a knuckle sandwich? Can I feed them that?

      • American of African Descent - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        If you can find them.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      You know, without the benefit of hundreds of years of racial oppression, racial epithets toward white people really don’t have any punch to them. I’ll let Louis CK make my point for me here.

      • 8man - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        I don’t remember what this thread is about now, but I am glad to be a white guy. It’s even more fun being a white guy who has a team still in the MLB playoffs. Woo hoo!

    • skerney - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Learn the socio-political power structure of the United States and understand why caucasians are called out for racial insensitivity more quickly than non-whites.
      Also, as a minority I can state with all certainty that pretty much no one users the term “Cracker” anymore. Futhermore, if someone used that epithet against you would you feel dehumanized in the way that the N-Word is intended to do?

  2. Stiller43 - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Comparing what he did to assault and battery is beyond idiotic. Theft, yes.

    Still, the guy is a major tool

    • mkprz - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:22 AM

      At the time it was happening, who can tell what is occurring.
      Where was the girl’s man? A man worth his value would have had that guy on the ground eating knuckles.

  3. dschminck - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    (1) Usually battery is prosecuted as a crime only in cases involving serious harm to the victim. Assuming no serious harm in this case, we are dealing at best with a tort, insofar as prosecution is typically concerned.

    (2) As with all torts, consent is a defense. It can be plausibly argued that attending a baseball game as a fan implies consent to “reasonable” contact that might occur as a result of catching or attempting to catch a fly ball that flies into the stands. A similar situtation for such a defense might be a wedding guest who, it would be argued, implicitly consents to “reasonable” contact that might occur as a result of catching or attempting to catch the brides bouquet that is thrown in the direction of the guest.

    (3) Even though I read what Craig Calcaterra has to say on the matter, I still cannot answer this question: Why is Craig Calcaterra writing a response to “impotent wannabes” ? Oh, maybe Craig meant to argue that the contact made in this case was unreasonable contact.

    (4) Since both civiized and barbaric citizens are permitted to attend baseball games, I am not sure what would constitute reasonable versus unreasonable contact in such cases without the stadium owners publishing a policy that directly deals with “reasonable” and “unreasonable” behavior that involves such contact.

    (5) Hey Craig, maybe that is what you should argue: stadiums need to publish a clear policy that informs the “impotent wannabes” about actions considered unreasonable (i.e. uncivilized) and prohibited in pursuit of a baseball that flies into the stands!

    • cohnjusack - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      (1). Ripping the baseball from someone’s hand, then throwing it back on the field is not okay.

      (2) – (infinity)- not needed. See: #1

  4. clydeserra - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Craig, I know you have been out of the game a while, but come ON! this is basic 1L stuff.

    the TAKING of personal PROPERTY by FORCE (or fear). is not assault. its a m-f’ing robbery. Doesn’t matter how much its worth. its a robbery.

    I can’t think of any exceptions because you want to throw the ball back. If he were in CA, dude would be facing a strike and having to do his time in the actual prison at 85%.

  5. offseasonblues - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Without witnessing what happened first hand, I can’t say whether Craig overreacted or not. I do think the headline was a downer on the day after a really great game, but what bothers me is if the dude was shouting racist comments at fans and players, he shouldn’t have been in the stands long enough to grab the ball. I’ve seen fans removed from their seats for less, so it sounds as though no complaints were made.

    Most of all I think it was a mistake to give that kind of fan that much attention.

    • wjchen468 - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      You clearly have never been to a game at Fenway Park. I attended a game in 2001, Mariners v. Red Sox. Ichiro’s first season. Anyway, I sat in the bleachers. A few rows up from me three Yankees fans sat down to watch the game. They were wearing Yankees hats and jackets. All game they were getting cussed at and had food thrown at them by the Red Sox fans, I mean total class by the Red Sox fans. While this was happening a number of Boston’s finest, stood there and did nothing. Finally, in the 6th one of the Yankees fans had had enough of the curses and hot dog beanings, and he stood up and yelled at the fans to stop. No sooner had he stood up then Boston’s finest ran up grabbed him and his friends and threw them out of the game.

      I doubt very seriously that the Boston police or security would have done anything to that fan. In fact had the Detroit fan complained, they probably would have kicked him out. Boston fans can get away with murder in the stands at Fenway provided they kill a fan of the opposing team or some other team. That should not be a point of pride, but I am sure it will be taken as such.

  6. km9000 - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Racists and bigots must be so ecstatic having all this 21st-century technology to freely express their 19th-century views.

  7. nepatriots128154 - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Critisize Elpres all you want but pretty sure Barstool isn’t some “impotent wannabes at site.” It’s much bigger then this run-of-the-mill PFT knockoff. It must be a tough pill to swallow because you seem to take yourself seriously, but Barstool actually has some legit influence with its writing compared to yours. You write for a glorified Bleacher Report, basically.

  8. matt14gg - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    This is Boston (Mission Hill to be specific), right after they caught the Boston Marathon Bomber. This is for all you clowns who think you know our city. You get one drunken, racist A-Hole (out of about 38,000) at a baseball game and ignorant idiots want to claim it represents a whole city. Complete nonsense, but it feels good to point fingers cuz I’m sure there are no racists where you’re from. This is the Boston I know.

  9. mudhead123 - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Craig is the biggest bitch. Can’t believe he is paid to write

  10. j0esixpack - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Boston fan here. The folks at Barstool sports are slime. They posted nude photos of Tom Brady’s kid and thought nothing of it.

    Quite a few advertisers pulled out due to fan outcry then. Some of them snuck back. They should know that we all notice.

    Don’t blame the small minded Barstool idiots. Blame the sponsors and let them know this is not acceptable.

    • hojo20 - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM


      • j0esixpack - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        And there you have it folks – the best rejoinder a Barstool fan can come up with. That about says it all (though the Barstool demographic doesn’t even know what “rejoinder” means)

    • nepatriots128154 - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      You do know a bunch of the Red Sox read Barstool and are big fans of the site, right?

      • j0esixpack - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        Right – and if they have no problem with showing nude photos of toddlers, then they’re slime.

  11. eagles512 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Cohnjusack, way to pick and choose the facts to present. How about the fact that Martin jumped Zimmerman? And I’m not a Zimmerman backer. I think he’s an idiot. But I agree with the other poster that there wasn’t much of a case.

    • truthseeker25 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      There is no evidence that Martin jumped Zimmerman. In part it was because the prosecution did not prove that it did not happen is how Zimmerman walked.

  12. 4356gejm - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Battery (criminal and civil) is harmful or offensive contact without consent. I’d say the lady would probably agree, if not harmful, it was offensive, and certainly she did not consent. So Craig’s right, this guy could be charged (and/or sued) for battery. Whether he will or should be is a separate matter.

    Racism is prejudgment based on race. The “socio-economic power structure” of this country very well may be an outcome of racism, but it is not a prerequisite for racist behavior or acts. Ergo, and to the distress of those steeped in the Ivy-league definition of racism, black folks can be racists, too. That’s not to excuse this white racist, but socio-economic racism has just become an excuse for otherwise racist behavior.

    • louhudson23 - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Black people can be racists,but white people in the U.S. have little or no chance to be victims of racism…the socio-economic system resulting from 400 years of barbarism,human bondage and apartheid prevents it…..

      • 4356gejm - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        You admit that black people are capable of racism, but that whites can’t be victimized by it? Just because it does not lead to economic harm? How about the Long Island train shooter in the 90s who wanted to kill white people? How about the vicitms in NYC attacked by the man who wanted to punch all the white people he could just a few weeks ago? And what about simple robberies, muggings, or rapes motivated by hatred of whites? Are those people not victims of racism? I guess death and bodily injury are not sufficient to create a victim, if the decedent or injured is white.

        I do not deny that blacks have very good reasons for their antipathy towards whites, economic inequality being one of them. But whites’ relative insulation from that kind of harm does not mean that race-motivated attacks on whites do not have any victims. And by the way, there are a lot more poor whites who have been the victims of the socio-economic power structure of this country than poor blacks, just by the numbers. Check out West Virginia, Kentucky, etc. Poor, exploited whites, and lots of them.

        If we are ever going to move past race, we must stop using it both as a sword to attack others, and as a shield to insulate bad actors from the consequnces of their actions.

  13. mkprz - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    If that were my wife, the guy would have been eating my elbow and getting his teeth replaced.
    Not everyone wants to throw the ball back. It was her property once she got it.
    Saying he was caught in the moment doesn’t fly. He didn’t possess Tourette’s Syndrome of the arm.

  14. mkprz - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    If it’s just a ball and no real harm was done, what if that had been Bonds’ record breaking homer,?
    Would that have mattered and be taken lightly?
    The husband/boyfriend should have also acted out of instinct and pounded that guys face with his elbow.

  15. arbruins - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    I had never heard of these bar stool nit wits until this article Craig. Thanks for bringing this garbage here.

  16. cypher24713 - Oct 15, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    the guy was a total scumbag, it was purely an assault on that woman who caught it, if i had been there i would have fought back.

  17. easywolf - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Hardcore fans are dorks with low iq

  18. lindjd - Oct 15, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    What great accomplishment did the so-called Angel” produce other than robbing someone of a souvenir, showing the sports world that Bigotry is a live and well in Boston?

    It appears that my father’s favorite saying it also alive and just as appropriate today as when I first heard it as a child, “fools faces appear in public places”.

  19. stoopidfool - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    this was only because tiger fans were in town……..when anyone from Detroit comes around, you need to act like a tool to keep them away from you

  20. truthseeker25 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    The picture says it all. By grabbing her wrist over her head, yanking the ball from her hand, and throwing what was at that point her belongings away we have an assault and theft. If the value of the ball exceeds $250.00 then it is a felony Grand Larceny or a Grand Theft charge. Depending on any injury sustained by the woman this fan could also be paying out on a lawsuit.

    A fan willing to behave like this is a danger to others and if the Red Sox do not immediately ban him they will become libel for injuries sustained by other fans in the future.

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