The best picture I've seen yet of the Fan is on the LA Times homepage right now. (I hope to show it soon). Seriously, shouldn't the fellow be looking into plastic surgery? Anybody who knows him would be able to recognize his features from this shot. Isn't this the most egregious "never live it down in a thousand years" shutterclick of our still young century? So far I haven't seen any mention of his name. Think what it would feel like right now to be that Unknown Fan. Think, and shuddder. The people he was with will eventually break down and let somebody know the guy's name. Has to happen. Doesn't baseball bring out the best in all of us?
Others in the stands tossed beer at the unidentified fan and shouted profanities and threats at him. A handful of security guards quickly escorted him from his seat, his face covered with a sweater as he walked to a security room.
Some fans were yelling, ``Kill him!'' and ``You cost us the World Series!'' as he was being led away. After the game, security guards gave him a different jacket and hustled him out another exit so no one would know who he was.
``He possibly cost us the pennant, and I want to know if it was worth a $20 ball? What a loser,'' said Sean Henning, who was sitting about five rows back.
Will the memory fade? Will he be 80 years old and sitting somewhere on a park bench muttering, "couldn't keep my damn hands to m'self, had to go and stick 'em out there!" while mothers hurry their small children on by to safety?
I'm all for amateur sports, but this is visual support at least for the notion of leaving things to the professionals. Look closely. Alou would have snagged it. Walkman boy isn't even close and he's not leaping into the air to reach over an eight foot barrier.
Standing behind and to the left of Edward Rigormortishands - see the Fan Dude? Red stocking cap and Cubs jersey? Here's the sequence of thoughts that went through Dude's head: "Uh, oh. Like, man, I ain't sure but.... Bad program, man! Don't...oh, shit."
How about Pete (lawyer) and Marsha (personal finance adviser), the yuppie couple right there with ringside seats? Pete seems unsure of who he actually wants to catch the ball. Marsha seems more concerned for her personal safety while still maintaining that thin, arch smile that's plastered on her face all day and every day.
As for the rest of the souls in this picture frozen on film and in pixels in this strange moment in time, they are suspended at the top of a parabola, yet weightless (excepting a certain person in the background) but soon to describe the downward emotional trajectory that a few seconds later produced, no doubt, the same feeling you got when your parents were out and you invited some friends over and the horseplay got out of hand and your mother's best vase ended up in pieces on the floor and you all stood there silently thinking, like Dude, "oh, shit."
UPDATE: Damn - that specific picture has vanished from the LAT site. In the meantime, though, read more gory details of the incident that foreshadow the rather earnest changes that are about to descend on the Fan's life:
As the mob ran from police truck to police truck, scanning the insides with flashlights to see if the man was being transported away, the scene became more surreal.
"They better get him out of here now, or he's gonna die," said one ordinary looking man in an ordinary looking Cub jacket.