Over the weekend, a fan ran onto the field at the Blue Jays' Rogers Centre. And unlike nearly all other field-stormers before him, he managed to make it on television.
People have asked me why I take the trouble to document the events that unfold when a fan runs onto a baseball diamond (most recently, the four fans who stormed Safeco Field). It's "weird," they say. I am "obsessed," they say. I will gladly cop to both charges while also observing that no one would call a garbage man "weird" for taking away your trash, or call a carpenter "obsessed" for restoring a bookshelf.
Television networks refrain from showing field-stormers on camera. Their reasoning -- that it would glorify those who are creating a nuisance and encourage future field-stormers -- is irrelevant to our desire to watch them ourselves. In fact, I imagine that if that quality of mystique were removed, we would find field-runnings significantly less interesting. It isn't surprising, it's human nature: tell us we cannot do something, and we want to do it. Tell us we cannot see something, and we want to see it.
Over the past weekend, though, fans of the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies who were watching from home were treated to something quite rare. A fan's unauthorized adventures on the field of play were shown on television.
Click the above image (graciously provided by @bubbaprog at Gifulmination) to see an animated .GIF of what television viewers saw. Indeed, the swell folks at Rogers SportsNet broadcast all but the final few seconds of this intrepid fan's adventure. For the rest, as always, we can depend on ourselves to provide video documentation:
Let's roll out the blackboard, please.
The route itself was well-run, if a little conventional; the gentleman's crescent-shaped elusive maneuver was an addition worthy of the reverberant sort of roar that one can only hear indoors.
Let's also hear it for the security personnel. Look at those trajectories. The two tacklers made beelines directly toward the field-stormer's eventual destination, made a single modest adjustment apiece, and performed the sort of tackle that signaled they weren't out to hurt anyone. All in all, a solid effort by all parties involved. I hope the fellow was locked up before all the mattresses were taken.
I'm sorry, I've strayed far off my original subject of discussion. Why do I take the trouble to document field-stormings? Well, because I find them delightful, and so, without a doubt, do many of you. I do them because no one else is there to do so.
I am not a hero. I am not great. I merely document the heroes and the great, and for as long as the discrimination of television networks leaves us with such narrow recourse, I am happy to perform such a duty.
P.S. I am aware of Tuesday night's field-stormer at the Giants game, and am presently in the fact-gathering stage. I will issue a report once I learn enough to satisfy my journalistic standards.