Without a cape, Batman would resemble a creep in pajamas. With a cape, he casts a large, simple, ominous shadow, but the cape serves its primary aesthetic purpose while its superhero is in motion. Sometimes we only see our superheroes through a series of sketched frames, but we can look at the cape and know that yes, he is moving, he is leaping from the top of a skyscraper, he is destroying evil.
Superheroes normally don't create. They simply wait for villains to create, and then destroy their creations. This is something to lament, and this is also why the caped gentleman who ran on the field in Baltimore last Friday was someone special: He created, and his villains destroyed.
This is his creation.
These beautiful brush-strokes of the feet served as the 2012 baseball season's first field-storming. The gentleman in question, wearing little more than shoes, a cape, and a hat, picked up right where the last field-stormer left off last season -- at Camden Yards.
Orioles fans, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation. While other towns fall short in the extemporaneous video-journalism department, you excel. Here is the best video of the spectacle, recorded by @kyle_mace:
And if you're interested in bonus footage, this gentleman in right-field foul territory recorded some film that serves as an "origin story" of sorts for our hero.
If there's one thing you and I have learned about Camden Yards security, friend, it's that its security outfit is not particularly aggressive. Field-stormings are not cheap: You'll probably be thrown in jail, and you'll almost certainly be hit with a large fine. It was nice of these security guards, then, to let this gentleman at least get his money's worth, and run unimpeded for a full minute.
Now, this season, I would like to take a different approach to documenting and appreciating fans who run onto baseball diamonds. Last season, we merely observed and cheered. We were dillentates; jimmyjohns. No more. Advanced metrics have done wonders for the game of baseball, so I would like to apply statistical categories to the field-stormings we see this season. Let's quantify a few things about this run:
Run time: 65 seconds.
Estimated run distance: Approximately 590 feet.
Evasions (in other words, number of times he dodged a security guard in active pursuit): 2.
Indignant gestures (i.e. cap-doffing, waving to the crowd, mime artistry): 6.
Security guards in play: 9.
This manner of stat-keeping is certainly a work in progress. If you have any suggestions for other metrics that should be considered, by all means, please let me know. Hopefully, once more data is collected, we can begin to establish metrics and determine the relative quality of a run.
Last season, you and I investigated nine no-hitters. We certainly aren't arguing that fans should run on the field. We ought only to celebrate what unfolds before us, and document what the TV broadcast refuses to document. Here's to another season. Baseball is here, and everything is alive.