May 08, 2007

'Dear Mr. Dork ...': Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells tossed an autographed ball to one of his hecklers at Cleveland earlier this month. With an inscription.

posted by rcade to baseball at 11:17 PM - 27 comments

At least he signed it, "your favorite center fielder"..... pretty respectable. Then again it's Vernon Wells, who is Vernon Wells anyways??

posted by dlopez916 at 11:36 PM on May 08

who is Vernon Wells anyways?? If you follow baseball at all, a guy who can be my centerfielder any day. Vernon Wells is the man.

posted by justgary at 11:43 PM on May 08

Goddam wrote about Vernon Wells last year on her blog. Whenever Toronto comes to town I look foward to 2 things, “O Canada” and Vernon Wells. Not for anything he does in the field really, but the fact that he’s such a good sport. He’s the only opposing outfielder that I’ve seen respond to the taunts coming from the bleachers. He’ll tip his cap or wave or do some other gestures. I get the feeling he looks forward to it. When the “Horse’s Ass” chant start he was bobbing his head along with the melody. At one point they start “Come play for us.” I’m not quite sure if the fact that Damon was up to bat at that moment was related in any way.

posted by justgary at 12:20 AM on May 09

I love reading stories about the interaction between the heckler and the player. It brings a certain down-to-earth feel to the game. Kudos to Wells, and kudos to Raycher for working his craft.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:34 AM on May 09

who is Vernon Wells anyways Just because he plays in Toronto doesn't mean he isn't any good. There's a reason Toronto was willing to give him $18 million a year-and it's not just because they need their payroll to look like the Red Sox and Yankees. I wish the Tigers would have gone out and gotten somebody like Wells instead of a second ageing right fielder...but I digress.

posted by treak4455 at 12:57 AM on May 09

Well played Mr. Wells, well played. They should go to that makeup game dressed as gas station attendants.

posted by geekyguy at 02:59 AM on May 09

I like that he didn't sign his name, making it harder to eBay the ball.

posted by yerfatma at 06:09 AM on May 09

Great story! To see the interaction between a professional athlete the caliber of a Vernon Wells and these good spirited fans displayed during a MLB game is magnificent. who is Vernon Wells anyways?? Umm...Seriously? Since 2002, this Vernon Wells character has averaged over 20 homeruns per season with a .288 BA. He's a pretty good centerfielder too.

posted by BornIcon at 07:21 AM on May 09

That is a real classic. What a freakin' riot. I love that the guy read it to the entire section. There's one ball I'd love to have thrown to me and be able to display it in my home. That was a great move by Wells. And yes, he is a fantastic player.

posted by dyams at 07:35 AM on May 09

he signed it, "your favorite center fielder"...... who is Vernon Wells anyways?? Two points: 1. shouldn't he have signed it "your favourite centre fielder", as he does play in Canada? 2. possibly the best centre fielder in the game.

posted by tommytrump at 08:07 AM on May 09

"Dear Mr. Dork," - How will they know which one he means? I mean, it's Cleveland. A lot of people would claim ownership. Good fun and games. Now if they Jays could only win a goddamned baseball game.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:25 AM on May 09

Great story! What a great exchange! Thanks for the story rcade:)

posted by firecop at 08:27 AM on May 09

I love it. The guy probably has it insured and in a glass frame on his dresser.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 08:34 AM on May 09

I can't imagine he's insured it...

posted by jerseygirl at 09:13 AM on May 09

Great stuff. One of my favourite aspects of being in the bleachers at the old Busch Stadium (God, does that sound awful and unnecessary) was the give-and-take between players and fans. When Dante Bichette was an outfielder for the Rockies, a Cardinal hit a ball toward the gap. Bichette made a terrific play to cut it off, but when he tried to make the throw into second, he basically spiked the ball into the turf. It hopped and rolled pitifully into the infield. When he turned, I yelled, "Hey, Dante! Is Bichette French for 'ragarm'?" It's the only time I've ever been flipped off by a player, but he was laughing about it too.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:34 AM on May 09

I applaud you Vernon. That is the best comeback, even though it was stolen from a few comedians. They usually phrase it as, "Do I come to your job and yell at you?" Basically the same point. I agree with you wingnut, this type of give-and-take is what sports should be all about. As long as it is done in good taste, as this was. I mean it's a lot better than throwing a beer at Ron Artest and getting punched in the grill.

posted by yay-yo at 10:38 AM on May 09

Indeed, this is a classic stand-up come back, but Vernon gets major points for delivery and context. The best one version I've ever heard from a stand-up was something like (and forgive the obscenity) "I don't come down to your bus stop and slap dicks out of your mouth, so don't you interrupt me when I'm working."

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:59 PM on May 09

I don't know what the big deal is. Albert Belle's given a baseball to a fan, too. Well, sort of.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:04 PM on May 09

Well played by Vernon Wells. Certainly very clever and much better than Belle's method of throwing balls at hecklers.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:16 PM on May 09

The best retort from a player to a fan was reported by the immortal Paul Shirley. The player involved was Bo Outlaw, who was being heckled by a fan, using some variation of the ever popular, "You Suck!". Bo has enough of this, and asks the fan, "Sir, do you know who I am?", which elicits the response, "Hell yeah, you're Bo Outlaw!" Bo thinks upon this for a few seconds, and then says. "You know who I am. But I do not know who you are. There's a reason for this. No one cares who you are."

posted by Bonkers at 05:40 PM on May 09

For those not willing to click TBH's link, this is interesting: Indians outfielder Albert Belle threw a baseball at a heckler in the left-field stands at Cleveland Stadium today, hitting the man in the chest. The fan, Jeff Pillar, 33 years old, of Cleveland, told the umpiring crew he had been kidding Belle about throwing a keg party. Belle, who spent 10 weeks in an alcohol-rehabilitation program last summer, picked up a foul ball hit by California's Ron Tingley in the seventh inning, turned and heaved it hard at Pillar from a distance of about 15 feet. Boy, that's some sense of humour you'vr got there, Mr. Pillar! I'll bet you'd kid the Cardinals about being slackers for taking time off to attend two funerals in five years! I wish I could clap Belle on the back for this one. He shouldn't have thrown a baseball -- he should have just walked up to the stands and offered to punch that lowlife's lights out. No one deserves to be tormented about a substance-abuse problem, not even Albert Belle.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:44 PM on May 09

Really? Where do you draw the line then? I don't necessarily disagree, but I think that's pretty unlikely. I spent an entire Earth Day yelling at Wilfredo Cordero about his spousal abuse. That seems just as low, but spousal abusers aren't considered victims, while alcohol abusers are.

posted by yerfatma at 07:28 PM on May 09

Two points: 1. shouldn't he have signed it "your favourite centre fielder", as he does play in Canada? 2. possibly the best centre fielder in the game. No offense to superstar and all-around class act V. Wells, but he wasn't even the best centerfielder in the stadium.

posted by avogadro at 07:47 PM on May 09

I've seen Grady Sizemore's stand-up routine. It sucked.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:00 PM on May 09

I wish I could clap Belle on the back for this one. And he'd probably break your arm for touching him. Albert ain't down with that.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:24 AM on May 10

I spent an entire Earth Day yelling at Wilfredo Cordero about his spousal abuse. He got a lot of that in here Cleveland also.

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:21 AM on May 11

No offense to superstar and all-around class act V. Wells, but he wasn't even the best centerfielder in the stadium. Let me know when Mr. Sizemore has won at least one Gold Glove award.

posted by tommytrump at 12:32 PM on May 13

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.