Phillies fan who ripped away home run ball from 63-year-old woman ID’d
A Philadelphia Phillies fan who ripped a Maikel Franco home run ball out of the hands of Joyce Murphy Kiner, a 63-year-old woman, during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks has been identified on Facebook.
The man’s name is Jim Bergen and his identity was discovered after he bragged about snagging the ball on social media (screengrabs via the Daily Mail):
Bergen’s actions were universally condemned on the Internet, but not before he was summarily ripped for his conduct by the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast team. Color commentator Bob Brenly, the former Diamondbacks manager, slammed the notion that a grown man would steal a ball away from a woman, suggesting that “the politeness police ought to arrest that man.”
Brenly’s partner, Steve Bethiaume replied, “Well, you know, it’s Philly,” making note of the stereotype about sports fans in that city.
It appeared that Bergen was being escorted out of the stadium but it turned out he was simply being given a voucher to authenticate the home run ball.
Kiner appeared on Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic where she described the experience, ripping the ball thief and calling him a “dog.”
“I knew the ball was coming my way,” she said, as transcribed in a Daily Mail report. “My husband handed me his glove when he left his seat. I put my hand out and it hit my glove or was in my glove but the glove is too big for me.
“It fell right right in the flowerbed right in front of me. I couldn’t really get up and over the fence without falling in.
“I had it in my hand and I just tried to get a good grip on it and the guy just ran over, pushed me out of the way, and then took it.
“He body-checked me really. I looked at him and said ‘I can’t believe that you dog’ but he just walked away.
“You do not do that to a lady. You hand that ball to a lady.”
In the end, Kiner may have come out ahead as a result of being victimized by Bergen’s actions. As shown in the video, she received a Diamondbacks shirt from FOX Sports Arizona. She also received a pair of prime seats to an upcoming Phillies game as well as a pendant from a local jeweler courtesy of 97.5 The Fanatic.
Bergen, meanwhile, likely is getting what he deserves: Widespread scorn for some pretty unsavory behavior.
[H/T Busted Coverage, ESPN]