The Seattle Mariners were enjoying a healthy five-run lead over the Houston Astros in a game they absolutely needed last night when someone decided to launch a baseball from the stands toward starting pitcher George Kirby. As one might suggest, that choice did not play well with the hometown fans or the person who accompanied him to the ballpark. Or security for that matter.
Here's the incident in question, which could have been a lot worse. Kirby was composing himself to throw a pitch when a ball comes flying from out of nowhere and thumps him in the chest. Which had to hurt quite a bit when not suspecting it. Thankfully he was able to shake it off quickly because the wild fling could have landed anywhere, including right upon his face or in the temple.
A brief manhunt rousted the suspect as Mariners fans were more than willing to rat out the offender, who was confusingly decked out in a Jarred Kelenic City Connect jersey. Why someone who ostensibly roots for Seattle would put one of its players in danger doesn't make sense but then again youthful impulse is a hell of a drug.
As the ball-tosser was being led away, he was treated to a pretty severe tongue-lashing from the person who was sitting next to him and also had to leave. She got in there like a manager arguing a bang-bang play at third base.
Kirby remained in the game and got the victory. A valuable lesson was learned. For every Rookie of the Year moment there are dozens of times where throwing the ball back causes all sorts of trouble.