Changing the world one baseball at a time

You know who’s a good egg? Jana Shortal at KARE is a good egg.

Jana, the KARE 11 reporter/anchor, was at last night’s Minnesota Twins game when she spied two kids who would do anything for a baseball.

Little people she knows in the Twins organization scurried to find a baseball, but failed.

The game progressed. The tension in section 125 mounted. These kids needed what the Twins organization calls a “magic moment.” Alas, there was nothing but disappointment.

Shortal didn’t become one the Twin Cities most popular media types by accepting defeat. She activated the bat signal: Twitter. She went to the top.

The kids got their ball.

It doesn’t take much to change the world a little bit for the better. You just have to give a damn about some kids.

Archive: A rain delay, a baseball, and a kid with his dad (NewsCut)

  • JonasGrumby

    At least he had a can of Nordeast while he was waiting.

  • And what will this teach these kids? That waiting around looking sad will get them what they want.

    /54 Years old and have never caught a baseball at a game.

    //Totally kidding at my first statement.

    • Gary F

      what he said, but 53. And only somewhat kidding at the first statement. We don’t want it to become the expectation of buying a field level seat.

      • Gary F

        I still remember when I was about 12, at Met Stadium, and a ball rolled off the backstop netting and fell right between my feet. I’m returning from the concession stand with 4 glasses of pop in a holder and for a split second, thought of dropping the pop and grabbing that ball. Knowing how much my mom complained about concession prices, I just stood there and some kid grabbed the ball. Still haunts me today.

        About 15 years ago, I was with my son on the railing watching batting practice at whatever new Commisky was called back in those days. Jacque Jones and Rick Reed were by us catching fly balls. My kid drops his glove over the railing and it fell about 10 feet or so down to the field. Rick Reed sees it happen and made eye contact and did nothing. My kid starts to cry. Rick Reed looks over at the father and crying son again, the only two wearing Twins shirts and sees the crying kid and glove on the field. I will give Jacque Jones the benefit of the doubt, he had a game to play and was warming up. Rick Reed was a pitcher on his off day. Rick Reed continued to catch fly balls. A security guard came out from the dugout and retrieved the glove for us. Now that is a fan experience I’ll never forget. I didn’t even want a baseball.

    • Barton

      A warning right now. If you are at a Twins game with your kid(s) sitting near me and a fly ball comes our way, WHEN I catch it I am not giving it to your kid and I don’t care how much you get everyone to boo at me. I’m 47 and a life long baseball fan and I’ve never caught a ball at a baseball game (and I’ve been to a fair few, I’ve been close to a few balls, and there was the time I was already to grab one of Lou Brock’s fly balls back in the 70s and some older white dude reached in front of me to grab it… that still hurts). I will not be giving up that ball.

      not kidding at all.

      • MCH

        You sound like my husband who insisted on keeping the foul ball from the Saints game we were at. Rattled around in the buffet drawer for 3 years until it somehow disappeared. I am pleading the 5th on that one –and I am the base ball fan. He never missed it.

      • emersonpie

        But your SECOND ball…

        • Barton

          Oh yeah, if that ever happens, I’ll give that one away.

      • Jim in RF

        I’ve never caught one either. Probably 0 for 200 games. Closest I’ve come was at the old Orioles stadium (name?), but some guy more or less wrestled it away from me.

      • Jeff

        Ditto. I’m 62 and never got close. A good strategy might be to move away from any kids on the area. Or carry a spare ball around and give the kid a different ball, they’ll never know the difference. Maybe buy them a beer so they’ll stop whinning. We should all teach our children that their best ball opportunities are when they are young and they need to pout and be aggressive about it. After age 12 or so you’re on a downhill slope and will end up as a bitter, broken-down old man with no ball and a lifetime of regrets.

      • Rob

        Let’s just hope that when your lifelong desire to catch a ball does come true, it won’t be a repeat of Steve Bartman’s snag.

        • Jeff

          Every time this topic comes up in NewsCut I can’t forget the epic video of the couple taking the ball and posing for pictures while the kid cries in the next seat.

          https://youtu.be/JWz8pFXKOXE?t=45

  • MCH

    I was at Sunday’s game. Two boys ahead of us about the same age as these two. Older brother catches a foul ball (actually caught it bare handed). Younger brother is devastated–not pitching a fit– but inconsolable. When the usher asked if they were ok I piped in and asked him if he could fix a broken ego. Apparently he could. I watched that usher watch the younger brother for the next few innings. Still inconsolable. Next thing we see is a Twin’s employee handing the younger brother a ball. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. (I also think the kids’ mom was delighted that she wasn’t going have to deal with sibling rivalry for who knows how long.) I made a point to thank that usher. He too was a good egg. What a bright spot in my week!

  • Carol S.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jana Shortal. She is the best thing to hit the Twin Cities media market in many years. I hope she stays forever. Good on her for making this happen.

  • Great job Jana!

  • ec99

    In 1962 my dad took me to a Twins game. I got a foul ball off of Zoilo Versailles.

    • Rob

      One of the coolest player names ever

    • Ralphy

      My dad took us to a Twins – Indians game back then. Jack Kralick was the pitcher. We almost got a ball via Bob Allison. Not off his bat, but a throw that sailed and was a little off line. Don Mincher and Harmon Killebrew both homered late in the game. Mincher’s hit the Tuck-A-Buck Tree.
      I’m surprised at how I remember the game. I was fascinated by the mowing pattern in the outfield.

  • Erik Petersen

    One can get a Rawlings ROLB at Target / Walmart, they are no different than the ones the pros buy by the carton.

    • It’s just not the same…

    • Jeff

      Where can I get the Delaware River mud?

      Nevermind, found Lena Blackburne Original Baseball Rubbing Mud on Amazon and this interesting article https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/baseballs-secret-ingredient-mud/2017/03/31/af56eeaa-14c7-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.5f59f5a2618a

      “There’s an art to harvesting mud,” Bintliff told KidsPost last week. He usually wades knee-deep into the muck, which he said is on public land, and shovels near the surface. If he goes any deeper, the mud becomes black and begins to smell.

      I had no idea.

    • jon

      Heck I’m tempted to start a go-fund me account to buy a bucket of them and have them thrown to middle aged men suffering from “never caught a ball” syndrome at a baseball field… stretch goal we’ll hire a professional baseball player to throw the balls.

      I think I might also film them fighting over the thrown balls and try to monetize that video to fund future events… The business model practically writes itself.

      • KTFoley

        You wouldn’t shoot them out of the T-shirt cannon? That’d be a spectacle! Fans without gloves might want to shield themselves with trash can lids, though.

      • Veronica

        I’ll chip in $40 if it means these guys will cease being selfish for half a second and learn to be kinder and more generous.

  • Ralphy

    Twice I have gotten balls at Gopher volleyball matches. They make you give ‘em back.