By Ryan Crowe, Joel Thomas & Jason Allen, CBSDFW.com
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The eyes of Texas, and of the internet, are on a Tarrant County couple after they caught a ball tossed into the stands at Wednesday night’s Rangers game against the Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
But it’s not their joy at catching the ball that has the internet in an uproar.
The scene started as Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland tossed a routine foul ball into the lower deck stands. The couple were sitting next to a dad and his toddler son, who also was reaching for the ball.
In video that has gone viral on the internet, you can see the man quickly picked up the ball and presented it to his companion.
The video was originally broadcast on the Yankees’ YES Network Wednesday night.
While the couple celebrated their prize, the young boy in a red Rangers shirt, blue Rangers hat and black glove could be seen on camera crying and reaching for the ball.
“They can’t even give it to the kid?” YES Network announcer Michael Kay said. “That’s awful.”
Moments later the woman poses for a picture with the ball, and the toddler can be seen crying and trying to reach for it.
“Wow!” Kay said. “They’re actually like rubbing it in the kid’s face!”
The woman, who identified herself as Shannon, said she and her fiance were on their last outing before their upcoming wedding. She explained what happened to CBS 11’s Joel Thomas. “We were in the moment. We didn’t realize the boy was crying for the ball.”
Someone near the Rangers dugout noticed the boy, identified as 3-year-old Cameron Shores, and tossed him another ball. His reaction was exactly what you would expect from a child being handed a major league baseball.
But the damage was done for Shannon, who was chided by Kay while the boy beamed. “Look at the grin, and look at the greedy people next to him, just oblivious. Let’s make out while he has the ball, but we’ve got our ball.”
Shannon says about 10 minutes after the incident they offered the boy their ball, but he already had one.
She says the public backlash has been unfair, as she herself is a grandmother. “I was devastated. It hurt my feelings. I would never in a million years dream of hurting a child. People interpret things the way they want them to be and people get hurt in the process.”
Thursday night CBS 11’s Jason Allen caught up with Cameron and his parents Kyle and Crystal at their Flower Mound home. The Shores’ have been shocked by the attention, and say they have no hard feelings. “You just cant tell whats going on. They got a bad rap for the way it was shot and his reaction. It just happened to be the time they showed it it didn’t look good but it wasn’t that way at all,” said Kyle Shores.
They saw the replay late Wednesday night, but didn’t know how bad the backlash was until this morning. “We got home at 11:30 and saw it on Sportscenter,” said Kyle. “I thought it would go on the air and we would be good. But then this morning it was on facebook and callas and emails,” said Crystal.
Kyle Shores says they had moved into the seats a few innings before, and that when they’ve been that close Cameron has had balls thrown to him. “He’s three, so there might have been the expectation that every time he goes down there he gets a ball.”
But they say, they didn’t expect the couple to give it to him. “They want a ball just as much as anyone else so there was a never a second thought of them being mean or anything,” said Krystal.
The Shores’ were expecting to use the moment as an opportunity to teach Cameron he can’t always get what he wants, but then the other fan tossed him their ball. “He was actually fine. A couple of minutes into it he started watching the game again and he was good. He had stopped being sad.”
And, they said, the couple was genuinely friendly to both of them, and Cameron. “He talked to us, and was a really nice guy. You could tell he was a big Rangers fan,” said Kyle.
“Cameron and him talked, and they were comparing baseballs,” added Crystal.
Cameron even said the whole incident wasn’t what it looked like. “I was crying and stuff, ’cause I didn’t like the noise.”
In the end, everyone had a baseball, and the Rangers won.
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