League of Fans

Founded by Ralph Nader, League of Fans is a sports reform project working to improve sports by increasing awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, exposing irresponsible business practices, ensuring accountability to fans, and encouraging the industry to contribute to societal well-being.

Email Alerts

Alerts is League of Fans' email announcements list. Alerts provides news, information, the actions of League of Fans and/or Ralph Nader regarding sports issues, and calls-to-action for subscribers. All email updates are either selected or written by League of Fans.


League of Fans is motivated by people, just like you, who are upset with what has become of our sports and would like to make a difference. We work with concerned citizens, sports fans, civic groups and communities to increase awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, influence a broad range of issues in sports at all levels and encourage the cooperative capacities that make the "sports powers-that-be" capable of helping, not just dominating, our society and culture.

News / Resources

We often think of sports as outside the realm of everyday citizen concern. But the many benefits to society that sports can provide are sometimes undermined by a different set of values, often based on the quest for higher and higher profits at the expense of fans, taxpayers, communities, culture and social justice.

Your Role

Get Involved! Your involvement will improve sports for communities and fans, and encourage the sports industry to better contribute to societal well-being.

Ralph Nader praises young fans who gave home run baseballs back to Mark McGwire

Ralph Nader called fans Tim Forneris, Mike Davidson, Deni Allen, Billy Bamman, Michael Hayes, Michael Pitt, and Jason Duncan "high-minded" for returning valuable home run baseballs to Mark McGwire without asking for payment. "Forneris, Davidson, Allen, Bamman, Hayes, Pitt and Duncan are standard-bearers," Nader said. "They honor the sport of baseball and their country with their gestures."

"These fans are an antidote to the money-grubbing and commercialism in professional sports that is at epidemic levels," Nader said. "They are examples of an old tradition in the United States that doing the right thing is more important than money. That's a tradition that should be celebrated by their highly visible affirmations before a national TV audience."

On September 8th, Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the 1998 baseball season, surpassing a home run record set by Roger Maris in 1961. The McGwire honor role includes:

Tim Forneris, 22, a St. Louis Cardinals groundskeeper who retrieved the 62nd home run baseball and gave it back to McGwire. "It was Mark's ball," Forneris said. "He lost it and I gave it back to him." "Life is all about experiences. They can't take this away from me. IT'S BETTER THAN A MILLION DOLLARS IN THE BANK." (Los Angeles Times, 9/9/98)

Mike Davidson, 28, caught McGwire's 61st home run baseball and gave it back to McGwire. Davidson said that "It would mean more to him and to baseball than it would to me." Davidson said that a million dollars "would be more aggravation . . . than just giving the ball to Mark McGwire for him to appreciate." (Washington Post, 9/8/98)

Deni Allen, 22, caught the 60th home run ball and gave it to McGwire. Allen said that "Money's not part of the equation for me." He said "I'm going to give it back to Mark. The ball is his. That's the right thing to do, both for Mark and for Major League Baseball." (Dallas Morning News, 9/6/98)

Billy Bamman, 14, caught the 59th home run baseball and gave it to McGwire. I felt it was the right thing to do," Bamman said. (Bergen County Record, 9/4/98)

Michael Hayes, 20, caught the 58th home run, and gave it to McGwire. "He deserved it," Hayes said. (Bergen County Record, 9/4/98)

Michael Pitt, 17, caught the 57th home run and gave it to St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa, who gave it to McGwire. Pitt said "He hit it. I caught it. It wasn't mine." (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 9/6/98)

Jason Duncan, 11, caught the 56th home run and gave it to McGwire. Duncan said "It wasn't mine. I didn't earn it. It was his ball so he should have it." (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 9/4/98). It was a hard decision to make, Duncan said. "But I knew it would mean a lot to him, so I gave it to him." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 9/2/98)

These youngsters and young adults have set an honorable example by refusing to cash in," Nader said. "Their example ought to be emulated by thousands of corporate CEO's and politicians, whose rampant commercialism has overridden so many critical social values."