During the 7th inning of Chicago's game against the Baltimore Orioles, a young boy, who appeared to be no more than 10 years old, got loose in the outfield. Evidently, the boy hopped a fence and decided to go for a run at U.S. Cellular Field.
The video, which can be viewed below, shows White Sox right-handed reliever Nate Jones peering in at Orioles hitter Robert Andino. As he readies to make his pitch, the crowd suddenly erupts in chatter. Jones steps off the pitching rubber and looks to the outfield. When the camera switches to the outfield, White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo has the young boy scooped up into his arms.
Viciedo calmly walked the boy to two security officials, who escorted him off the field. Per team policy and MLB rules, the boy and his family were ejected from the stadium.
With the situation under control and the boy viewed simply as a rambunctious kid and not a security risk, the White Sox were able to release a fun press release.
"Safety is our No. 1 concern and we are happy that the child is fine,'' said Scott Reifert, a White Sox spokesman. ''Obviously it was a non-issue for Dayan who was able to field the kid cleanly. But going on the field is stuff we do take seriously. It's not something we condone in any way."
The White Sox organization has been on high alert in regard to fans entering the field of play since an ugly incident in 2002. In September of that season, a 34-year-old man and his 15-year-old son, both presumed to be under the influence of alcohol, stormed the field and attacked Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa. The pair landed several punches on Gamboa before players intervened. The 15-year-old was found to have a pocket knife, and Gamboa suffered some permanent hearing loss as a result of the attack.
Other altercations between fans and players have taken place, perhaps most memorably in Oakland in 2004. Near the visiting bullpen, members of the Texas Rangers got into a fight with A's fans seated in the first few rows. The incident included Rangers reliever Frank Francisco throwing a chair into the stands. The chair struck a woman in the head and led to Francisco's arrest for felony battery.
Luckily for the White Sox and their fans, the team was able to laugh off Thursday's incident. No information has been released regarding the boy's identity or how he escaped his parents and security to get onto the field. More pictures showing the sequence of events can be seen via Getty Images.
The boy did not bring good luck to the White Sox, who lost the game to Baltimore, 5-3, and dropped to 6-6 on the season.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Video Source: Yahoo! Sports