On Wednesday, in the seventh inning of the Red Sox' blowout win over the Giants, Stephen Drew hit a three-run homer. NESN's cameras showed a man who triumphantly came up with the baseball. But San Francisco police are currently looking for that dastardly individual. They say he's a villain who robbed a 16-year-old boy by forcibly taking the ball from him and injuring the teen's wrist.
In a story first reported by the San Francisco Examiner, police confirmed that they have an open investigation into a complaint filed by the teenager and his father. Albie Esparza, a public information officer for the San Francisco police, told us the teen said he had the ball in his possession, only to have it forcibly swiped away by some rascal. The cops seem to be taking this seriously: California law defines robbery as the taking of something "by force or fear," Esparza explained. That's how they're handling the case.
The teenager told police he had the ball in his mitt down on the ground, but that the villainous suspect grabbed him from behind, twisted his wrist, and took the ball from him as he was transitioning it from his glove to his open hand. Right after the incident, the teen and his father, who were visiting from Alberta, Canada, approached two cops to tell them what happened. The boy was then taken to a medic's station to receive treatment and was released a short time later. "He wasn't too injured," Esparza told us.
But the teen's uncle told us the teen was also taken to a Bay Area hospital, where he was diagnosed with a "severely sprained wrist." In addition, the uncle said, the teen had some scrapes on his arm. The uncle told us two men had "assaulted" the teen. But Esparza said police seek only one evildoer, and that it's for a robbery allegation: a black man who's described as about 5-9 or 5-10, weighing about 230 pounds, and who was last seen wearing all black.
Because MLB is stupid, they're not making video of Drew's home run embeddable. But you can watch it here. After ricocheting off the hands of some people just beyond the fence in right field, the ball bounced into a standing-room-only promenade known as Levi's Landing. Several people can be seen hitting the deck near a brick wall to pursue the ball. At the 17-second mark, a man bounds to his feet, holding the ball aloft in his left hand. He starts walking away. That, according to police, is our scoundrel. Esparza said police have no leads as to his whereabouts.
The scramble for the ball can be seen at the 38-second mark of the video. The 16-year-old, clad in a cap, red shorts, a Red Sox jersey, and wearing a glove, disappears behind a brick wall as he goes for the ball. A few seconds later, he and the big meanie can briefly be seen struggling, with the ball in the rogue's right hand.
Esparza told us the MLB.com video is the only footage of the incident police have seen. He also said there were no other witnesses being questioned, since the teen and his father approached police in another part of the stadium.
The teen's uncle told us the kid is a "huge" Red Sox fan who has since traveled to Los Angeles with his father to watch the Sawx play the Dodgers this weekend. The Giants have called the teen's father to apologize, the uncle added, and they've offered him and his son tickets to a future game.
Moral of the story: Grown-ass men should not be pushing around teenagers to get baseballs.