He's a Padres fan. The year is 1994. He's 35 years old. He has a mullet and mustache. He wears $16 shin guards.
For the past 3 years he has been obsessed with catching baseballs.
This is the story of Fred.
"I'm addicted. It's a total addiction"
Have you ever watched a true life crime show or a biography on a murderer and you catch yourself finding similarities that you both have in common? It may just be very mundane things, like the narrator will say "When he wasn't killing, he spent every waking moment reading" and you think to yourself, "I like to read. Will I end up like that?"
That's kind of how I felt when I watched this video. Here's a guy, a Padres fan, not so different than you or me. But something switched in him. He was probably normal at one point. His neighbors thought he was a polite young man, but kind of quiet. Then either after years of stress or maybe a singular traumatic experience, he changed...forever.
Now here he is, chasing after balls during batting practice and in games like a lunatic. His preparation and routine are part of his disorder. The way he runs through the gate to his location in the outfield. The intense concentration and focus that he has for every hitter. The glove, the bag and the shin guards. The way he plans his routes and flips up the seats for safer and faster passage. Perhaps it's the only way that he can have control and find order in his life.
Something must have happened to him to make him deviate from his once normal path. The thing is, we don't know what it was. That's the part that scares me. I feel like it could happen to any of us. When does quirkiness turn to crazy? Will we be aware of it as it's happening? Or will we just see ourselves on the news one day with the broadcasters openly mocking us, when it's too late, because the transformation is permanent.