If you are familiar with the Angels, then you know there is a giant paint can beyond the fence in left field at Angel Stadium sitting there as a target for home run balls. The oversized can is sponsored by paint retailer Sherwin-Williams, and the promotion calls for a $1 million donation to the Angels Baseball Foundation if a home run lands in the can.
But it depends on what your definition of “landing” is.
On Tuesday night, Justin Upton hit a home run ball over the left field fence, and the ball took a mammoth bounce off the ground and fell into the can off the bounce. Because the ball did not initially land in the can, Sherwin-Williams is holding on to that technicality for the reason the company is not forking over $1 million to the Angels’ charitable foundation.
justin upton 1 hop into the bucket pic.twitter.com/5DgbZt6DM2
— 7 (@SevenCostanzaa) September 20, 2017
The promotion was originally organized by Frazee Paint in 2014 and has been continued by Sherwin-Williams following a takeover of the paint company. The wording of the promotion at the time made it clear that the ball had to initially land in the paint can.
As part of the in-game promotion, Frazee Paint has positioned the oversized paint can in Angel Stadium’s left-center field terrace turf, 450 feet away from home plate. The height of the can is 10 feet in the back and 9 feet in the front, creating a more convenient angle for the batter. The mouth of the can measures 8-1/2 feet in diameter, and a home run ball hit by an Angels player that lands in the can on the fly will benefit the Foundation.
Upton’s home run clearly does not satisfy that “on the fly” stipulation, but some are still suggesting Sherwin-Williams should make good on the deal. The ball did “land” in the can. If nothing else, it may be time for Sherwin-Williams to review and potentially revise the wording of this promotion. Far be it for any of us to tell some company what to do with their money, but leaving room for a bouncing ball landing in the can would be a good move for Sherwin-Williams, even if a lesser amount is committed to charity as a result.
You can see higher quality video of the home run here because MLB doesn’t always believe in the ability to embed video clips on websites for some archaic reason. You can judge for yourself whether you think Sherwin-Williams should pay up, or at least pay a portion of the $1 million promised for a ball in the can.
On the bright side for Upton, the home run was No. 32 for him on the season, a career-high. Not a bad number to take into free agency if he chooses to opt out of his contract, which he can do after the season.