Foul Balls

FireShot capture #64 - 'Facebook I My Photos - First Cubs Game (2009)' - www_facebook_com_photo_php_pid=2778757&id=678764011&ref=mf

My wife took me and my 2.5 year old, Henry, to Wrigley Field for an early Father's Day.  Seats were incredible ... third first base line, three rows up.  If you've been to Wrigley, you know how close to the action that puts you.

And also how many foul balls come your way, particularly from left-handed hitters.

So here's what I forgot since the last time I was at a game ... people are way too insane about catching a foul ball than they should be.  I'm talking grown men ... I saw one guy fall backwards over his chair trying to catch a ball that came off the bat of some no-name player and is worth $2 [max].  I promise you that guy does not try as hard at his job as he did trying to nab that baseball.

What is this madness all about? Clearly there are a few things at play ... (1) people love free stuff (2) people love taking a piece of the action home with them (3) grown men love making great catches, as if to prove that were it not for the knee injury in high school, they would be the ones on the field.

But I'm interested in reading something a bit more academic, or rigorous.   I tried Google, thinking a sociologist somewhere has done a study on this.  But came up empty (it's a tough set of search terms to nail).  So I'm calling all sports fans and clever thinkers [that's you Noah Brier, Alan Wolk, Ian Schaffer, among others] ... where do you think [if at all] something interesting exists on this silly topic?