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Play Ball--Not!

August 06, 2000|RACHEL USLAN

Your safety is their No. 1 priority. So say those baseball stadium ushers who become public enemies when they snatch a bouncing beach ball out of play in the stands. So SoCal launched an investigation: What happens to all those confiscated balls?

"We don't keep them," laughs Tim Mead, a spokesman for the Anaheim Angels. "We don't have a closet full of beach balls somewhere."

The Dodger front office, perhaps too distracted by its team's lackluster standing at midseason, didn't return repeated calls for comment. But at a recent Dodger Stadium game, in which no fewer than five beach balls stopped play when they hit the field, Edgar, a soft-spoken usher on the top deck, revealed that personnel are instructed to "completely destroy the beach balls, tear them and rip them up."

Given such a wide-open playing field, baseball fans have varied the beach-ball theme. Edgar has seen airborne condoms and latex gloves, while Mead's favorites were the flying tortillas, "though I couldn't tell you if they were flour or corn."

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