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Minor League Baseball

Drunk fan tries to fight pitcher who plunked batter during minor league game (video)

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It seems like minor league teams, as far as creating interesting and bizarre theater is concerned — oddball promotions, unique events, etc. — do everything better than their Major League Baseball counterparts. Apparently, the one-upsmanship also involves incidents involving drunk and unruly fans.

During Sunday’s game between the Midland RockHounds (Double-A affiliates of the Oakland Athletics) and Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros) at Whataburger Field — even their stadium names are cooler — a bizarre incident occurred when an inebriated fan stormed the field after a RockHounds pitcher plunked a Hooks batter during a blowout.

With the Hooks up 9-0 in the 5th inning, RockHounds pitcher Blake Hassebrock plunked Hooks first baseman Telvin Nash. While the Hooks probably didn’t much care for a plunking in a game completely out of hand, a hometown Hooks fan wasn’t going to allow such a transgression sitting down, as he drunkenly stumbled out onto the field and attempted to duke it out with Hassebrock.

Despite the Midland bench clearing in reaction to the foolish fan, the scene did not devolve into fisticuffs between pitcher and the field intruder — nor anyone else, for that matter — as the drunk fan was forcefully pushed to the ground by RockHounds shortstop Dusty Coleman after confronting Hasebrock. Any tension caused by the field invasion were further tempered when Hooks batting coach Tom Garland escorted the fan to a stadium tunnel.

The RockHounds pitcher whose plunking provoked the incident could not believe what happened.

“I saw (the fan) out of the corner of my eye and I honestly thought it was someone from their dugout, like a trainer, going to see Nash,” Hassebrock told Corpus Christi Caller Times. “Then I realized when he was halfway between the (foul) line and the mound, that he was a fan. My first thought was I just hoped he didn’t have a gun or something weird. If he’s crazy enough to be on the field, who knows what he had on him. By the time he got to me, he stopped and it looked like he came to and regretted being out there in the first place. We didn’t (make contact).

“This was something out of ‘Eastbound and Down.’ (What he said) was pretty much inaudible, drunken gibberish. (There was) a couple of f-bombs and some slurring. I’m pretty sure he was upset I hit Nash.“

Nash, the victim of the plunking, said afterward that the fan was indeed drunk and was talking to Hooks players throughout the game.

That guy was talking to us the whole game,” Nash said. “He’s (ex-military) and he was kind of out of it. He had a couple too many drinks. It was kind of scary because you never know what his intentions were. But I feel like both teams, we handled it accordingly.

“Kudos to Timmy coming out and talking to the guy. (The fan) was just saying, ‘You don’t do that, that’s my boy’ because I’d talked to him the whole game. It’s just a good thing to know our fans have our backs.”

Law enforcement sources told the paper that the 35-year-old Houston man was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and criminal trespass at a sporting event charges. He was taken to the Corpus Christi detention center, where he presumably woke up in the morning with a bad hangover and presumably some regret and profound embarrassment due to his drunken antics.

[H/T SB Nation]

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