An unidentified man has become the subject of ridicule on social media for refusing to give a baseball back to a young fan who fumbled it after a Chicago Cubs player tossed it to him as a gift.
I think I have found the worst human
Who is this guy? pic.twitter.com/RhpUFMee7s
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) July 22, 2018
However, after the internet went after the anonymous man, WBBM-TV subsequently reported that the event was taken out of context, and the man is actually an upstanding guy!
Chuck Mycoff told WBBM’s Roseanne Tellez that the man is now afraid to leave his hotel room, due to the backlash and false accusations that arose after the video went viral.
“He had already helped that kid get a ball. TV got this all wrong,” Mycoff tweeted on Monday.
“He thanked me for stepping up and getting out front for him,” Mycoff told WBBM. “He’s still a little bit afraid. He was absolutely overwhelmed.”
Mycoff added, “I just kept seeing all these things and I’m going ‘boy that’s crazy.’ In fact, I’m still seeing them.”
The Chicago Cubs have also taken a stand in defense of the man.
“The family was deeply dismayed to hear about the terrible accusations,” the team said in a statement.
“A video has made a national villain out of an innocent man.”
USA Today described the scene as it appeared:
“When first base coach Will Venable tossed a baseball to a young fan seated in the first row, the ball got away and bounced beneath the seat. That was when a middle-aged man in the second row grabbed the baseball and gleefully handed it to the woman next to him. They all had a laugh at the kid’s expense. It was senselessly inconsiderate.”
But one eagle-eyed observer noted that the woman was just as guilty for refusing to hand the ball back to the kid:
The woman is just as bad. She should have given it to the boy!
— Shawsome ? #TheResistance (@shawsaluto) July 22, 2018
Another Twitter user simply stated: “As a lifelong Cubs fan this was hard to watch.” We agree!
— Efra19 (かぞく) ✊?✊?✊? (@89Efraa) July 22, 2018
But not to worry — the Cubs eventually came through for this young baseball fan. After a massive outcry on social media, the team reportedly gifted the boy with two balls, one of which was signed by Cubs infielder, Javier Baez.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2018
The Cubs also went on to defeat the Cardinals 7-2 — a happy ending for all. But let this story serve as an important reminder to all during moments of great temptation: don’t be that guy.