A PSA: Stop Interfering With Balls in Play During Blue Jays Games

I can’t in good faith sit by idly anymore. This has to stop, folks. Fans need to stop interfering with balls in play during Blue Jays games at the Rogers Centre.

This is hardly a problem which is unique to Toronto. This is one of my biggest baseball pet peeves, but without fail, at least two or three times every year, a Blue Jays fan either snags a live ball or interferes with a Blue Jays player trying to make a play.

Don’t. Stop. Stop doing that right now. Please stop doing that.


This incident from last night’s game was just the latest example of someone not paying attention and thinking they had a souvenir rolling into their hands. Little did they know, they actually prevented the Blue Jays from potentially throwing out Hanley Ramirez at second base.

People sitting in the front rows at Jays games are especially susceptible. And I realize people have moments of weakness and logic flies out the window and can be suddenly replaced with “ME WANT BASEBALL”, but you can’t do that because it’s in the rule book.

This is taken from the Rogers Centre’s official ground rules, and last I checked, there are stickers at the bottom of the rows telling fans not to interfere with plays.

For the safety and enjoyment of all, guests are reminded not to interfere with a ball in play or a player during a game. Those who fail to follow this policy may be subject to immediate ejection from Rogers Centre.

Fans are welcome to keep any ball landing in seating sections as long as they do not interfere with the safety and concern of others.

These rules are a little diplomatic, but the disclaimer at the bottom of the rows says this:

Interfering with the play on the field will result in your immediate ejection from the stadium.

Not only is this for the safety of the fans and the players, but it’s just common sense. Why would fans want to make it more difficult (or impossible) for a Blue Jays player to make an out? If anything, you want to get out of the way and let the baseball players do their job. It’s called a “home field advantage” for a reason!

Conversely, if a ball is hit in the air towards your section and an opposing player is trying to make a catch, by all means, don’t feel obligated to move to help that player make the catch. If anything, stand your ground, cover your extremities and pray someone else catches the ball.

I’ll give a mulligan to the younger fans here, but this often happens to grown adults who should probably know better than to scoop a ball up off the field that’s still in play.

Over the years, I can’t even count how many times Jose Bautista has had to contend with home fans just to make routine plays down the right field line.


Give Bautista (or whichever Blue Jays player) the ample space they need to retire an opposing hitter. That nanosecond of joy which comes from getting a baseball isn’t worth the scrutiny that’s sure to follow. Plus, your friends will never let you forget it.

Be unlike many Blue Jays fans before you – do not interfere with balls in play at the Rogers Centre. It’s irresponsible, it’s unforgivable, and frankly, it’s just rude. Thank you.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

4 thoughts on “A PSA: Stop Interfering With Balls in Play During Blue Jays Games

  • August 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I agree. Spectators shouldn’t interfere with a player or a ball in play. Of course, this isn’t the first time this was stated, and I doubt it will be the last because…

    1. The desire to get the ball before anyone else can is a “caught-in-the-heat-of-the-moment” reaction rather than anything requiring conscious thought; therefore, pointing out logical flaws (or the rules) can’t change the behaviour.

    2. Some of those spectators aren’t fans; they’re there to hang out with their buds, so they don’t care about the game, the play, or really, anything else but the cool souvenir that just so happens to fly, roll, or bounce towards them.

    3. Much like those who run onto the field, there will always be people who will gladly interfere just to get the ball because “YOLO,” and because there will always be copycats.

    Citing the rules, pointing out flawed logic, and not forgiving people won’t change them if they simply don’t care.

    Stricter enforcement of those rules may help to reduce fan interference. I don’t know if anyone was ejected from the previous game. The only other effective solution is some kind of physical barrier, like higher walls, or installing glass panes like those that surround hockey rinks.

  • August 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I think there needs to be a barrier of some sort put in place where fans are interfering with the play. Maybe a rail that curve inwards towards the seats that prevents the fans from reaching over but gives the players some space to reach over to catch balls going into the lower seats

  • August 31, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Maybe the dude just said to himself: “Hey the Jays are 10 games below .500, I came to see Donaldson and Smoak play, but they got a day off, so at least I get myself a souvenir.” I kid.

  • August 31, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    At the home plate they have nets why not do the same simple keeps everyone happy and we can get on with the game go jays go waiting for tonight game to start

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