Baseball fans are united in their distaste for a home run ball thief.
Video of a man stealing the ball right out of a teen fan’s glove at a recent Kansas City Royals vs San Diego Padre game went viral over the last few days.
The ball was hit by Padres’ new player Juan Soto right to where the young fan was waiting for it.
However, a nearby man—later identified as Mark Kirsch—had other ideas.
In the video above, Soto hits the home run ball almost right into the glove of teen fan Bruce Williams. Williams drove two hours with his cousin Luke to be at the game to celebrate his 18th birthday.
Earlier, Williams had even told his cousin:
“Hey you know Juan Soto is going to hit one to me just watch.”
And then it happened.
The hit from Soto flew through the air and Williams was ready to catch it.
However, Kirsch decided he couldn’t let that happen. The man in the beanie grabbed Williams’ glove and stole the ball.
Fans were upset at this turn of events.
After stealing the ball, Kirsch seemed to stare down Williams.
The teenager said:
“I was just kind of scared."
"I didn’t know what on earth was going on, I just wasn’t trying to fight him.”
Luckily, this led to a happy ending and a pretty good birthday for Williams.
The Kansas City Royals gave him two autographed balls—including one by Soto—along with some other merch for his trouble.
So things weren’t so bad.
As for Kirsch, the home run ball thief?
He likely isn’t done. Some commenters pointed out this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this.
During a game last week, fans noticed Kirsch trying to force a catch on a ball that didn't quite leave the field.
Because of this, fans are calling on the Royals to ban Kirsch from future games.
In an email to The Kansas City Star, the Royals identified Mark Kirsch
Royals' Senior Director of Communications Sharita Hutton wrote in the email:
"At this time we are not banning Mark Kirsch from the stadium."
Kirsch had been posting content online in a webseries titled Man vs Impossible where Kirsch called himself "The All-American Super Hero of Hope."
As of this writing, Kirsch's Vimeo account appears to have been largely shut down.