Earlier today I stumbled across this article on foxsports.com. It’s about the problem that Marlins’ rookie Chris Coghlan encountered when he tried to get his 1st career home run back from the fan who caught it. According the Coghlan, he offered the fan, Nick Yohanek, a signed bat and a photo opportunity after the game (which seems reasonable to me). Yohanek then asked for a signed baseball from Marlins’ shortstop Hanley Ramirez and tickets to an upcoming Yankees-Marlins series. Yohanek claims that he wanted to see a Brewers-Marlins series in Miami and that Coghlan was not very cordial to him in the process. Now the “he said, he said” begins.
Yohanek has his own website, which you can see here. His nickname is “The Happy Youngster” which was coined back in 1999. He is known at Brewers’ games for catching homeruns during games; Coghlan’s brought his total to 49. Below is a video that was shot in Milwaukee in 2000.
I don’t know about you, but I think he kind of came off as a jerk in that video. Very full of himself to say the least.
His blog also states that he works in law enforcement. I kind of imagine him as that guy who would ask a young, female driver why she wasn’t crying since he pulled her over. You know the guy I’m talking about. He’s the cop we all hate. A Farva, if you will. Honestly, who makes a shirt sporting his own nickname and then sells them? Perhaps the better question is, who would buy that shirt? (Now that I think about it, if he was a police officer, he would’ve said police officer. My guess is that this guy is the secretary at the police station.)
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. The Happy Youngster asked for a signed bat, a picture with Coghlan, a signed ball from Hanley Ramirez (who had nothing to do with this), and tickets to a Marlins’ game in Florida. All that for a $20 baseball? A $20 baseball which is just like the other 48 that you already have? Coghlan hit 22 homers in four minor league seasons. Let him have his ball back.
Something else that probably deserves a mention…Yohanek claims to be the biggest Brewers fan in the world. If you watch the video of him catching Coghlan’s homer, he is decked out in Marlins gear. Yeah, man. Dress up in the other team’s stuff to catch balls. You’re a great fan.
So I leave this up to you, sports fans. Who is wrong here? Coghlan is a major league baseball player, he should obviously just suck it up, right? Or is The Happy Youngster the one we should be upset with? Is this extortion in it’s most minor form? Leave a comment. Vote in the poll.