May 16-21, 2017 marks the first ever National Foul Ball Week.
May 16 is crucial for baseball fans in terms of foul balls. It was with a simple defiant act by Reuben Berman who snagged a foul ball at the Polo Grounds during a Giants-Reds game that we get to keep foul and home run balls. Regrettably, he tossed the ball into the fans before being escorted out of the park, and his ball has forever been lost to history. Regardless, he sued the Giants for pain and suffering. He won only $100, but for that time it was enough to emphasize how costly it could be to teams if they didn’t let fans keep the balls.
At this time, the Cubs were the only team allowing fans to keep balls. But with the Berman case, things accelerated. It would still be years for all of the teams to agree to letting fans keep the souvenirs, but it did happen.
So we now celebrate Berman’s defiance of the Giants which led us to keeping foul balls and home run balls.
National Foul Ball Week will feature a number of contests and fan-centered action. Check back in a few months as I update the rules and other relevant information before we celebrate next season.