The father of a little boy who broke down at a Texas Rangers game after not getting a ball tossed into the stands said the couple who got the souvenir was unfairly demonized by a Yankees broadcaster.
Kyle Shores' three-year-old son Cameron had his heart set on the ball tossed to the crowd by Rangers first basemen Mitch Moreland during the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the visiting New York Yankees. When Sean Leonard, who was sitting nearby with his fiancee, Shannon Moore, ended up with the ball, Cameron's waterworks began. That caught the attention of Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, who lambasted the couple - who have seven kids of their own - on air, calling them "greedy."
But Shores told FoxNews.com the couple didn't realize what was happening until after the Rangers gave the boy a ball of his own later in the game.
“They were very nice,” Kyle Shores said. “After Cameron got a ball, they pieced it all together. I think they really were oblivious to what was going on. And I don’t think the announcer saw that part. It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”
Cameron, who took home a ball from a game last season, was so sure that he’d get another souvenir that not getting that one was too much to handle, Shores said.
“He thought he was going to get the ball, and it was so close,” he said. “And that’s why you got the unbridled emotion.”
Kay weighed in after the boy got his ball, calling the couple “greedy” and “tone deaf.”
“Yes, there’s a nice happy ending to that story, somebody saw the kid crying, somebody from the Ranger dugout, they tossed him a ball -- look at that grin,” Kay said. “And look at the greedy people next to him, just oblivious, ‘Oh, let’s make out while he has the ball, but we’ve got our ball.’ Unbelievable. At least the kid has a nice smile on his face now. And those people are oblivious -- oblivious. Oh my goodness, a little tone deaf there.”
"I think they really were oblivious to what was going on. And I don’t think the announcer saw that part. It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”
- Kyle Shores
The couple, who have seven children between them and are getting married Saturday, said they later offered the ball to the boy and that they took offense at being portrayed as insensitive to kids. They said Kay's comments have prompted angry calls to their house from strangers.
"[We were] honestly unaware of the situation of the little boy sitting next to us last night since we were so caught up in the excitement and moment of being at our first Rangers baseball game together," they said in a statement given to ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA. "Please know that as the parents of a soon to be combined family of seven children, Shannon and I completely understand how upsetting a situation like that can be for a young child surrounded by the chaos and excitement of a ball game. Again, we would never intentionally taunt and/or wish to see a young child disappointed in such a way.”
Cameron's mom, Crystal, said her family has no beef with the couple.
“We talked to them for a while and they were very nice,” Crystal Shores said. “They were very nice with Cameron. They were comparing the balls and talking about hitting the balls.”
Kay, while not apologizing, said Friday on his ESPN Radio show that he believes the couple and he wishes them well in their wedding.
“It’s been very bizarre,” Cameron's father observed. “From going to the game, seeing it on SportsCenter when we got home and news vans at my son’s daycare … It’s one of those weird deals where I’m glad I’m not on the other side of it. But it all ended well.”
So, what about Cameron’s ball?
“He’s been sleeping with it,” Shores said. “He’s a big fan.”