By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – Most baseball fans would be thrilled to catch a home run ball at a game, but when one Colorado Rockies fan caught one Tuesday night, he threw it back onto the field. That got him thrown out of the game.
It was a surprise gift for Brandon Sanchez’s wife’s two young boys, 6-year-old Jayden and 7-year-old Jeramiiah. Both boys had never been to a Rockies game before.
“We were rewarding them for their good behavior at school,” Sanchez told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “They’re faces were just like, ‘Wow! No way!’”
The family of four got to the game in the second inning as Jayden and Jeramiiah both proudly sported their new Rockies hats and “first game” pins.
“I was really happy and excited,” Jeramiiah said.
Their seats were nine rows off the field, much to Sanchez’s liking.
“The section was right there in the outfield and I was like, ‘Yeah. We’re going to catch a home run ball today,’” Sanchez said.
And come the top of the sixth inning, that’s exactly what happened. Yet not to Sanchez’s liking — the homer was hit by a San Francisco Giant.
“Just being the competitive athlete and the competitive fan that I am, I just got the ball and tossed it back onto the field,” he said. “It was the heat of the moment.”
Sanchez said he has seen other baseball fans do the same thing, especially at Wrigley Field where Chicago Cubs fans are known to throw back opponent home run balls. What he didn’t realize was throwbacks are against Coors Field policy.
“She kept yelling, ‘He threw the ball! He threw the ball!,’” Sanchez said of the Coors Field employee working in the section where his family was sitting. “Then the police had to come because we had to be escorted out of the stadium.”
When the police arrived, little Jayden said he got scared.
“I saw the man and he reached for something and I thought it was a gun,” the 6-year-old told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “They kept following us until we were out.”
Sanchez said a stadium employee reminded the family of the rules and mentioned it is also something the game announcer says before every game.
“We didn’t hear that though because we got there in the second inning,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said he is disappointed that his entire family was escorted from the game, but he as well as the boys learned an important lesson for their second Rockies game.
“Keep it,” the boys said in unison when asked what to do when they catch a game ball.
“I’ll definitely give it to the boys if that ever happens again,” Sanchez said.
The Rockies declined an interview with CBS4, but said the policy against throwing back game balls has been in place since Coors Field was built.
The organization also clarified on Thursday afternoon that it was only Sanchez who was asked to leave the game, not his entire family.
However, the Rockies did invite the Sanchez family to return to Coors Field to watch a game anytime. The family has not decided on a game yet but told CBS4 they are leaning toward the upcoming Dodgers series next week.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.