The Far Side of Baseball: Foul Bats and Places We’ll Go


There are few things that will get humans to fight faster than a loose baseball which has found its way into the grandstands. These fights span the spectrum of opponents: from grown men vs grown men in the court room, as was the case with Barry Bonds record setting 73rd home run ball, to little girls vs grandma’s sheer strength of will:

Many battles leave victims bruised if not bloodied—and not just because of the fight, but because speeding baseballs can hurt if caught, say, on the jaw. For example:
Often the wounds are self inflicted.


And AndAnd And

Other fan/paraphernalia experiences involve foul bats which, opposed to flying baseballs, illicit more of a near death experience expression in the fans that have found themselves in its path. Take, for example this gem:

The not funny part about this: the victim suffered a Broken Rib.

Each person’s face in the picture could speak a thousand words. But let’s just analyze the target: If I had to have my picture taken while being struck in the face by a flying baseball bat that somehow broke my rib, I’d try to do it just like the guy in the green shirt. Hands in my lap, wife leaned against my shoulder, eyes calm and distant as if I was more interested in my stock portfolio than any damage a 31-inch splinter speeding toward my jaw could do. And a chin–a chin as stern and available as the broadside of the French frigates at Trafalgar.

Mr. Broken-Rib is as dignified as a man could ever look while getting his bell rung by a flying tree trunk. He is class in spite of chaos, dignity during despair, and poise pending pandemonium. That bat just opened up a 40 gallon drum of ace whooping and that man couldn’t care any less. Such prose may seem a bit overwhelmingly dignified for a guy taking one in the chops by an errant baseball bat, but consider the following subject as a reference point:


If Mr. Gray-Sweatshirt is what the average individual would look like while taking a bat to the face (and I suspect that’s right on considering my own skills at catching flying baseball bats) Mr. Broken-Rib is a 180 on the LSAT.  He’s a double-eagle on Pebble Beach’s 14th; he’s the creme de la creme; the Jordan of bat-in-the-grills; the Earnhardt of lumber-to-the-face.

Yet Mr. Gray-Sweatshirt at least deserves some admiration. Unlike the other dozen or so Indians spectators cowering for their very lives (with the exception of the guy who thinks he’s attending a slightly hilarious 49ers game), hats off to the now bloodied-nose stadium shortstop for subscribing to the famous Babe Ruth adage: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

And this is to say nothing of the entertainment found in the post bat-flying skirmishes:

And that, folks, is the first installment of The Far Side of Baseball from Just Bat Reviews.

Brian Duryea, the author, is the owner of and is a regular contributor to whatproswear. He can be reached at [email protected] or

For your viewing pleasure:





Image: Fans react as a bat from Tampa Bay Rays' Jose Molina flies into the stands near third base during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg