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|"I got the ball! Nah-nah-nahnah-nah!"|
JUSTICE STEVENS: Granted, the Red Sox may own each item of equipment they provide for the players, but Boston has no claim in this case -- as home team for Game 4 of the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals paid for the disputed baseball, not the Sox. If the Cardinals wished to pursue this issue, they would have a case. The Red Sox do not. Further, to say that a baseball belongs to the team that paid for it is akin to saying Marge Schott is the all-time hits leader because she owned the Reds when Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb. You can pay for as many baseballs as you want, but until a player makes them special with his performance, they are just some Mr. Rawlings among the millions produced each year. JUSTICE SCALIA: To say that only players can make a baseball special is to ignore the importance of the team. It is Boston's 86-year World Series drought that makes this ball important, not Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz has fielded many throws to first base in his life. The only time he caught a ball with true historic and valuable significance was because he also was wearing a Red Sox uniform. No one has any interest in any of the baseballs he fielded for the Twins, including, as it turned out, the Twins. JUSTICE BREYER: Even so, teams have already established that they do not particularly care what happens to game-used baseballs. That home runs and foul balls belong to the fans who catch them is not only an established tradition, it is specifically mentioned on the back of tickets and in pregame announcements. Further, teams encourage their players to toss baseballs into the stands at the end of each inning. If teams make no claim to baseballs that are sent out of play -- including those involving historic home runs -- how can they claim differently for baseballs on the field? To say they only want the valuable ones is inconsistent. Although expected, given Major League owners.
|Let's let the real judges decide this case, shall we?|