Infant

New Dads Catching Foul Balls: DOS and DON’TS

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The moment I take my seat in a baseball stadium, catching a foul ball is always top of mind. I often suss out the crowd seated near me. Sure, we’re cheering for the same team, but once a ball is headed to our section, these fellow fans instantly become foes. Like that 70 year old lady over there? I think she can move faster than she’s letting on.

This excitement was instilled in me as a young boy at the first game I went to with my father. He encouraged me wear my glove during most of the game, “you have to be ready” he said. I have been on high alert ever since.

But that was then and this is the new dad era. These days we’ve brought precious cargo with us so being ready means keeping our baby safe. Not just from balls – bats often make their way into the stands. And of course the flailing limbs of would-be ball catchers when one comes within 20 feet of their seats.

The good news is that MLB recently extended it’s netting along the first and third baseline. Sitting at field level will be far safer than it was just a year ago. The bad news is that it came as the result of numerous injuries to fans, most notably a serious one to a toddler at Yankee Stadium.

Consider doing some research to determine where the safest seating areas of stadium are. Stay on high alert. Pay attention to each at bat. Keep your eye on the ball. Stay put. Be aware that foul ball melees tend to get chaotic – shield your baby. Catching a ball should really only be a by-product of these protective measures.

Here’s a breakdown of dads with babies who are doing it right. They stand their ground. Their reactions are knee-jerk. They don’t lunge, bend or climb. Most importantly they don’t put their babies safety at risk.

DOS

This dad appears out of nowhere, snags the ball…and does it on father’s day?!

This dad gets bonus points for the after-catch showboating.

This dad’s reach is epic.

This dad proves that even the worst seats in the house ain’t so bad!

And here’s a breakdown of dads with babies who are doing it wrong. They’re erratic and too caught up in the moment. They’re going after balls they have no business chasing while holding a child.

DON’TS

No. No. And NO!

Unstable baby. Mad Momma. Game over.

Bending over. Reaching. Crying baby. Mom wants the baby back.

Bonus points for making the catch while feeding the baby a bottle. But catching a ball that’s still in play? That can make you public enemy number one. Think Steve Bartman.

Have you or would you bring a baby to a ballpark? Do you have any safety tips? Or any other thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Jimmy A.

Stay-at-home, try-to-work-from-home, father of two boys ages 3 years and 1. Exiled from Adventure Bay by the Paw Patrol, now chilling on Griffin Rock with the Rescue Bots.

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