There May Be More to the Story Behind a Viral Video of a Young Cubs Fan Who Had a Foul Ball Swiped - NBC Chicago
Chicago Baseball

Chicago Baseball

There May Be More to the Story Behind a Viral Video of a Young Cubs Fan Who Had a Foul Ball Swiped

Video of the incident circulated on social media and an adult fan was chided on Twitter, but witnesses say it wasn't the full story

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    What Really Happened in Viral Video of a Young Cubs Fan Who Had a Foul Ball

    At first glance, it seemed like a young Cubs fans had a heartbreaking encounter at the ballpark over the weekend. But the viral video appearing to show what happened may not have told the full story.
    NBC 5's Lisa Chavarria reports.

    (Published Monday, July 23, 2018)

    At first glance, it seemed like a young Cubs fans had a heartbreaking encounter at the ballpark over the weekend. But the viral video appearing to show what happened may not have told the full story. 

    During Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Cubs first base coach Will Venable tossed a foul ball to a boy in the front row. But when the young fan missed the catch and the ball rolled underneath his seat, a man sitting in the row behind him grabbed the baseball and gave it the woman sitting next to him.

    Video of the incident circulated on social media and the adult fan was chided on Twitter.

    The Cubs even offered the boy an even better consolation prize: a Javier Baez signed ball.

    “A @javy23baez signed ball should take care of it,” the team tweeted.

    But, NBC Sports Chicago host David Kaplan noted in a Twitter post that the man in the video had actually already helped the boy get a ball earlier in the game. 

    "The young man has a game used ball and a Javy Baez ball. All is well. Guy is A-OK so let it go people," Kaplan, who said he spoke with people from the Cubs, wrote.

    Chuck Mycoff, who said he was sitting next to the man in the video, also tried to clear up what happened.

    “My son who lives in Seattle sent me a little clip of it and said, ‘Dad, are you next to this jerk who stole that ball from that kid?’ And I said, ‘Wow, yeah that’s me, but that’s not what happened,'" Mycoff said. 

    Mycoff tweeted the man involved had already given the boy a ball during the game. He also said the man gave foul balls to other kids in the stands and "was a great guy." 

    “We had already talked to the lady in front of us and she had said, ‘My boy has already got one, if we get any more we’ll make sure that they go to other people,'" Mycoff said. 

    Another man claiming to be sitting next to the child and in front of the man who grabbed the ball tweeted "the same fan helped [the boy] snag a ball a few innings before this."  

    Jeff Rose, who identified himself as a Cardinals fan, also added the guy "was able to snag at least 2 other balls & gave them to other kids."

    The Cubs confirmed they spoke with the boy's mother and the man in the video and "can confirm the man did not steal the ball from the boy." 

    A spokesman for the team said the family of the boy was "deeply dismayed to hear about the terrible accusations and hope this can be cleared up quickly." 

    "We hope this first experience won’t ruin his trip to Chicago and Wrigley Field and we invite him to come back soon," spokesman Julian Green said in a statement. 

    The team said witnesses also noted the man gave balls to three other people in the section, "including two kids in his row and his wife as a present for their wedding anniversary." 

    “He didn’t deserve to be shredded like this," Mycoff said. "Just a nice couple on vacation from South Carolina and certainly didn’t deserve the Bartman treatment.”

    The Cubs beat the Cardinals 7-2.

    Cubs Trade Targets: 10 Players to WatchCubs Trade Targets: 10 Players to Watch

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android