Oh the grass is green ad the bases white and the players pitch and hit. But more than that, alas, alack, they only prefer to spit, to spit. They only prefer to spit. -Gilbert & Sullivan
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! This story has taken off. By now, you’ve all heard it. You’ve all heard during the American League Championship Series, Yankees fans spit on the families of the Texas players incuding Cliff Lee’s wife. But like any red blooded mercenary, Cliff Lee said, a guy spitting on his family would not deter him from signing with the Yankees. That’s the spirit! And in that spirit, let’s have a look-see at other incidents in sports spitting, shall we? Sure we shall.
You may remember Bill Romanowski for playing 243 consecutive games, an NFL record among linebackers, and winning four Super Bowl Championships. That’s you. JJ Stokes remembers him for something else. The incident started in a pileup after a play. Stokes felt a little something something down in his man region. Not a good something something either. Stokes felt Romanowski pulling on his nut sack. So JJ did what anybody would do, he confronted the linebacker. Stuck for an intelligent response, Romanowski hucked a loogie that landed on Stokes’ facemask.
After Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup at the hands of Spain, their captain was quite upset. Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid player in soccer. Cristiano Ronaldo also may or may not have dated a coke-dealing hooker at one point in his life. But that is neither here nor there. What is both here and there is: Ronaldo did not play exceptionally well throughout the tournament. He scored only one garbage goal just to run up the score against lowly North Korea. After the loss to Spain, Ronaldo, in his frustration, let one fly at a cameraman.
Seattle Seahawks Fan
You know it happens, but it’s still disturbing to be reminded of it. A few years back, 2008 to be exact, news came across the wires that a cook and Seahawks fan in the Seattle suburb of Port Orchard, Washington, spit in a burger ordered by a customer wearing Steelers gear. Apparently, the Steelers fan was rubbing in his team’s victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. see what happens?
Spray it ain’t so! This is perhaps the most storied incident of spitting in sports. On the night of Sept. 27 in Toronto, the best second baseman of his generation spat at the home-plate umpire after getting thrown out of a game for arguing a called third strike. Alomar first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2009. He retired with more career hits (2,724) than Joe Morgan. He retired with more runs scored (1,508) than Nap Lajoie. He retired with more doubles (504) than Rod Carew, more stolen bases (474) than Frankie Frisch and a higher OPS (.814) than Ryne Sandberg. He’s still not in. Spitting has it’s comsequences.
Sir Charles can criticize LeBron all he likes but know this sports fans: LeBron never spit on any one. Sir Charles did. The incident occurred in the fourth period after Barkley responded to a fan who was heckling him. First Sir Charles cursed said heckler. Then he spit at him. He spit at him and missed. He missed his intended target and hit an 8-year-old girl who was sitting on her mother’s lap. Hey, he never said he was a role model.
Thanks to my boy Henry over at Mayfly Films I give you this:
NEWMAN: June 14, 1987…. Mets Phillies. We’re enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the right field stands when a crucial Hernandez error to a five run Phillies ninth. Cost the Mets the game.
KRAMER: Our day was ruined. There was a lot of people, you know, they were waiting by the player’s parking lot. Now we’re coming down the ramp. Newman was in front of me. Keith was coming toward us, as he passes Newman turns and says, ” Nice game pretty boy.” Keith continued past us up the ramp.
NEWMAN: A second later, something happened that changed us in a deep and profound way front that day forward.
ELAINE: What was it?
KRAMER: He spit on us…. and I screamed out, “I’m hit!”
NEWMAN: Then I turned and the spit ricochet off him and it hit me.
ELAINE: Wow! What a story.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!