Scam Alert: Shady "Baseball Players" Looking for Tix to Hawaii

Categories: Crime

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Yeah, Hawaii -- that's where I need to go
So I just happened to be working from home yesterday afternoon when, a little before 3 p.m., there was a loud knock at the door followed by an insistent ring.

I got up to answer, and the caller seemed to be shocked to see me, and not a woman, answering the door.

The guy was white, with curly, sandy hair, and looked to be about 22 or 23. His eyes were darting all over the place as he launched into his spiel:

"I'm a baseball player, but don't hold that against me..."

"What?" I asked.

"Some of your neighbors, I mean our neighbors, because I am Dr. and Mrs Brennan's kid from over there -- " he pointed nebulously off to the southeast-- "don't seem to like baseball players for whatever reason."

"Uh huh," I answered. This kid just did not look like a baseball player, and that was a very weird thing to say. After all, I live in Timbergrove, which may be close to the Communists in the Heights, but remains a world away. All the baseball-hating hippies in the area are on the other side of Shepherd, boy-o.

But I did let the kid carry on, while noting that he was not alone. Someone was idling in our driveway in a silver-ish Ford Explorer I could only partially see.

"So yeah, don't hold that against me...Anyway, we won our tournament here locally, and now we are gonna play in Hawaii!"

"That's great," I muttered.

"But the bad part is, some of the guys on the team are kinda poor," the kid said, his eyes skittering around in his head like pachinko balls. "I can afford to go, but they can't, so I am out here in the cold raising money for them!"

At this point, I had enough. After all, earmarks for my kid's own legit lacrosse team eat up enough of my sports dollar as it is, and I told the guy so. He looked like I had stomped on his puppy's tail and walked off to the Explorer and rode off in a cloud of exhaust.

I came back to our home office and Googled the keywords "baseball," "fundraising," "scam," "Hawaii" and, lo and behold, looky here, reports of an uncannily similar scam from coast to coast...(Our favorite: the girl in Dallas who reeked of cigarettes but claimed to be a college soccer player.)

Next I called the neighborhood watch guy (who told me that Dr. Brennan didn't exist), and then the cops. A few minutes later, a patrolman arrived and said that while he would go look for the baseball player with the heart of gold, the City of Houston was no longer considering door-to-door soliciting a crime. I guess fraud would have to be proven...

Which kinda sucks, 'cause I really think these fellows might be Irish Travelers on to a new scam.

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4 comments
LisaLunday
LisaLunday

One of these guys showed up at my door 5 minutes ago. This is the 4th time in 3 years we've had one. I can finish their sentences: I'm Dick and Jane Smith's kid, I live on ________, I'm sure you've seen them. They are always walking our family dog __________. I'm a baseball player at___________. Same scam every time. Clean cut guy, plaid shirt... I cut him off - he high tailed it out of here. I told him not to scam my neighbors. Then I called the police...

Grant
Grant

Pachinko! The fastest 2000 yen I have ever spent...

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

I think that was going to be the next chapter in his spiel, Tacotruck. Mag subscriptions figure heavily in several of the stories I linked to.

tacotruck
tacotruck

Sounds like those shady magazine crews. Didn't HP do a story on them a while ago?

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