Outcry spurs Rascals to ax ball policy

Updated: July 25, 2013, 12:53 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

A new policy devised by a baseball club in the independent Frontier League was quickly reversed after commenters on social media panned the move.

The River City Rascals, which play in O'Fallon, Mo., posted a sign in their home dugout that said that, as of Wednesday, players and coaches would be charged for throwing balls into the stands.

"Players and coaches will now be fined $5 for each ball that is tossed into the stands," the sign read. "We ask that you return every ball back to the dugout, including at the end of innings and games."

The notice warned team personnel that the $5 would be taken directly out of their paycheck and that it was ownership's wishes that this was not discussed with fans.

But after negative reaction over taking away a common fan-friendly practice filled Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday night, a club official acknowledged it had reversed course by the morning.

"We have reversed it but won't be discussing it any further at ownership's request," said general manager Dan Dial.

The 14 teams in the Frontier League have a $75,000 salary cap for a 24-man roster, which means players are earning as little as $600 and as much as $1,600 a month. They are subsidized with meal money and free housing.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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