Is a ball just a ball?

I am a season ticket holder to the Philadelphia Soul AFL Team. One of the league rules is any ball that was in play and lands in the stands is yours to keep.

Last night a ball went into a gap by the stands where a player from the IGL was standing and he picked it up to throw to the fans. They were going to throw it to me I could tell. Before I picked it from the air another guest plucked the ball and I was a little disappointed because that really was my only chance to get a ball.

Another player saw what happened and asked for the ball to give to a young kid. He gave it up and the kid got the ball. I felt that was cool because it will be a memory the kid will cherish.

The IGL player then tossed an unused ball to the guy who gave up his ball.

I got the IGL player’s attention and asked if another ball came in that area could I have it please. I explained I’ve been a season ticket holder for years and never got a game ball. He said yes and all was good.

At the end of the game no other balls landed there and the guy who was given the ball from the IGL player offered me his ball. I declined it because I said if it wasn’t used in a game it didn’t have any meaning for me.

He scoffed and said a ball is a ball.

What do you think? Is a ball a ball or would you want one that was used in a game. I can buy a ball for $60.00 if I wanted one that was not used in a game.

Nawww, you didn’t really call a player away from his duties to tell him you have season tickets (??!) and that you should have had a ball by now… did you?

If it wasn’t used in the game, I’d probably have declined it too.

I would go so far as to say that the exciting part is actually catching it; having it afterwards is much less interesting.

But this wouldn’t have been a “bought” ball. This would have been an authentic league ball that was handed over by an actual player during a real game.

If the teams had been warming up prior to the game and one of the balls they were practicing with had landed in the stands, would you have kept that, or would you throw it back because it hand’t actually been used in a game? Come to think of it, this probably was one of the balls they’d used to warm-up.

I’ve caught maybe two or three foul balls at baseball games, and I was thrown a batting practice ball by Brett Butler, the center fielder for the San Francisco Giants around about 1988 or so. The BP ball is far and away the most satisfying experience.

I say a ball is just a ball.

A slight tangent: years ago a friend and I were at a Can-Am league baseball game (motto: “more minor than the minor leagues!”) seated along the first base line, more or less surrounded by about 30 people who were there to see a friend/relative who was playing outfield for the visiting team. They kept shouting for him to give them a ball, and sure enough he caught an inning-ending fly ball, jogged over to us, waved at his pals, and threw the ball…directly into my lap. My friend turned to me and whispered, “now you see why he’s in Can-Am.”
[and did I keep the ball, despite the collective “awwwwww” and wistful stares from his fans? you bet I did]

Anyway. To me there’s a big difference between a game-play ball and a high-quality freebie, and I would have rejected it as well.

Is a ball just a ball?

A ball is never just a ball to a Labrador. It is The Ball, an object of veneration and obsession.

Which is why I’m sorry to never have seen a Lab catch a foul ball at “Take Your Dog To The Ballpark Day”.

Baseballs cost $60?

AFL=Arena Football League

Also, some people would die to get a game-used ball. For example: Shannon Stone.

(too soon?)

i agree that a ball caught in-game is different than a ball you buy. a playoff ball more important than a regular season ball. a record-setting ball more valuable than a non-record-setting ball, etc.

however i don’t think that a ball that a player offers you after a game is the same as a ball you get from a store. i mean, that towel that mean joe greene tossed to the kid with the coke was a post-game towel and not an in-game towel. was that towel JUST a towel?


Help yourself to some more chuckle fodder, Randy.

In fairness, I’ve never heard of stray footballs being “keepers” before-- thought that was just a baseball thing. But yeah, I’m pretty much completely ignorant of all things sports.

This is…some sort of performance art, right?

I feel the type of ball changes my opinion. The more disposable balls are just balls unless they were used in the game. Baseballs, golf balls, and hockey pucks are just balls. However Soccer, football, and basketballs given out are something special even if they weren’t used in the game.

No he is not on the team playing. He was watching the game from behind the sidelines

The rules say during the warm up any balls that make it into the stands must be returned. So I would not keep it. Also it was not a warm-up ball because it was brought out at the start of the second half.

I still don’t get why you would decline a football, especially after asking for one. Take that one and keep working on getting an actual game-used ball as well.

I don’t why, but this part of the story made me burst out laughing.

I’m dying to know: are you more than ten years old?

Well because in my mind if I have one ball I don’t need another and this person has a ball that the person he knows wrote something on. That means nothing to me but something to the other person.

I know at the next game I will not be anywhere close to where the balls may land but for the first playoff I will be back at my normal seat and I hope there is someone behind the endzone who will toss me a ball if one lands there.