|In these photos supplied by Indians fan Jeff Raycher, Vernon Wells has a message for the heckler: "Dear Mr. Dork, Here is your ball! Can you please tell me what gas station you work at, so when you are pumping my gas I can yell at you!!! Now sit down, shut-up (sic) and enjoy the game. Your favorite centerfielder."
Vernon Wells may get another chance to meet his heckler friend on Sept. 10.
Jeff Raycher, Vernon Wells heckler extraordinaire, has a surprise in store for the Blue Jays centre fielder.
Raycher, 28, and his buddies plan to drive to Detroit for the Jays' makeup game there on Sept. 10. That's when Round Two will begin.
Last Wednesday during a game at Cleveland's Jacobs Field, Raycher and some of the other "Bleacher Creatures" had a running, good natured banter going with Wells that ended with Wells tossing a ball to Raycher complete with a tongue-in-cheek message.
Between innings he got a new ball and wrote a message to the fan, then when he went back on the field the next inning he tossed it to him.
"Here's your ball, now please tell me what gas station you work at so I can come and yell at you when you're working. Please sit down, shut up and enjoy the game. From your favorite centre fielder, Vernon Wells."
It turned the tide.
"They all loved it," Wells said. "It's something that I've done before, maybe a handful of times. It gets them on your side."
On another occasion in Boston, a fan once asked Dwight Evans to throw a ball into the stands. It was Evans's birthday. The fans along the first row of the bleachers signed the ball and lobbed it back.
"Usually all we get is a tip of the hat or a wave," Raycher said of their heckling of whomever the centre fielder is that's playing against their beloved Indians. "This night we had at least 100 or so (fans) jumping on board and getting on Vernon pretty good.
"He got pretty interactive with us and it was getting louder and louder. Then around the sixth inning he was warming up and faked tossing a ball to us and tossed it into a section further over. So he got us there."
Wells really got them the next inning when he tossed the "message ball" to them.
"I stood up and read what was on the ball to everybody in our section and we were dying laughing," Raycher said. "We're going to hang on to the ball for sure. It all was so much fun.
"So when we drive to Detroit in September, we're going to come up with something clever."
Maybe Wells will be prepared too.
- with files from Sun Media