How the Braves let a security guard ruin a child’s experience

Published 4:41 pm Friday, May 26, 2017

What’s better than seeing a kid’s smile as he holds a real MLB baseball thrown by a real MLB pitcher and hit by a real MLB batter?

Very few things. It sits right behind seeing the joy of a toddler walking for the first time or the contagious sound of a kid letting out a long, honest laugh.

Unfortunately, we had to watch a power-tripping security guard ruin all the fun for a kid at the Braves game Wednesday night against Pittsburgh.

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A ball was hit down the first base line, staying in bounds just long enough to be fair. It rolled up to the edge of the barrier, where a fan was leaning out of his seat and waiting for it with a glove. He snatched it up, thinking it was his to take, I suppose.

Well, we all can guess what happens next. He’ll get escorted out of the stadium for messing with a live baseball, per the rules. But before he does anything else, he hands the ball to a young boy he was sitting with.

Into the picture races a security guard, who leaps from the field over the barrier and into the stands. He grabs the man’s arm and tugs, pointing to the exit. Yep, we knew it was coming. I couldn’t help but feel kind of bad for the guy, too. I mean, he gave the ball to a kid, after all. You can’t argue with his good intentions.

Meanwhile, the young fellow is holding the ball in the air proudly. I imagine he felt like the king of the world in that moment. Then his throne was usurped. The security guard reaches out and demands the ball back, snatching it from the kid’s hands. Off he goes with his game violator in tow.

The guy should be removed from the game. It’s a rule all of us who watch baseball are familiar with, and one that drums up some serious memories of controversy (anybody remember the Steve Bartman incident in 2003 with the Cubs?).

But to take the ball away from the kid is losing perspective, I think. The security guard might have been instructed to confiscate the ball for whatever reasons they think is necessary, but he couldn’t have looked more villainous while doing it. Google the video and take a look for yourself. The confusion on the kid’s face says it all.

The Braves ended up giving the boy a signed ball (by who, I didn’t see), so all ended well. But the security guard should take a class in “calming down” in the near future.

Braves lost 12-5, but that’s another story for another day.