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What happened to the Pirates fan who celebrated by running onto the field in Texas?

Sep 11, 2013, 3:25 PM EDT


Monday night, as the Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992 by beating the Rangers in Texas, a lifelong Pirates fan at the game decided to run onto the field.

Ryan Matthew Rock was arrested, spent the night in jail, and now faces the possibility of a $2,000 fine and/or more jail time. Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tells the rest of Rock’s story:

Rock, who moved to Dallas a little more than three years ago and works as a bartender, said he got the idea to run on the field in the eighth inning. He jokingly posted a picture to his Facebook page from his first-base line seats, saying, “This is one inning before I get arrested for jumping on the field.”

His friend, one of 13 Rangers fans who tagged along, tried to call his bluff. “My friend saw that and was like, ‘You won’t do that,’ ” Rock said. “A challenge is a challenge.”

And now, after spending the night in jail instead of celebrating his favorite team finally having a winning season? “I was showing my age a little bit,” he said. “And my stupidity.”

The lesson to be learned here? Don’t go on Facebook.

  1. historiophiliac - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Really? A night in jail and maybe more punishment? So stupid.

    • commonsenseisnotcmonman - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Its Texas man, they give the death penalty for Jay-walking. Texas is right about as bad as Saudi Arabia in terms of harsh consequences.

    • dan1111 - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      It sounds harsh. But think about it: at each and every game there are probably at least 5-10 fans who would run on the field if the punishment weren’t that high. Do you really want that much disruption of play?

      If they do reduce the penalty, they should at least limit it to 1 fan on the field during the first 6 innings and 2 fans during innings 7-9.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        I don’t buy that argument at all. I think they used to not get so worked up about these things. It happened but I don’t think it was epidemic or anything.

      • jm91rs - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        The punishment has been severe for a long time. Players are at risk when some crazy person hops onto the field. I can guarantee you it would happen at least once per game if the consequences were just a small fine or ticket.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        One of the best reasons to take such matters seriously is the horrible episode back in the 1990s when a fan ran onto a tennis court and plunged a knife into the back of Monica Seles. She fortunately survived but it largely derailed her career.

      • djpostl - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:36 AM

        Never mind that.

        Remember this incident? Or the Monica Seles stabbing?

        Disruptions are the least of the worries and they need to keep cracking down on people who do it. Only takes one nutjob to turn “kid got tased” into “player got shanked”.

      • kevinbnyc - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        It should obviously be a lifetime ban for the first offense. No hall of fame for you if you run onto the field.

    • clydeserra - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Doubtful. Every code section publishes a maximum penalty.

      They don’t max people out.

      Fines (way less than $2k) and community service.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Still stupid. I’d be okay with that if he hadn’t already spent a night in jail for it. Ridiculous.

    • notapsychiatrist - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      A night in jail is not punishment, per se. Jail is where people are held temporarily for processing (before any court dates, and before they are found guilty of a crime). Plenty of people who are perfectly innocent have spent nights in jail. Prison is where criminals are sent for punishment, after they are convicted of a crime.

      For something minor like this, you can get released from jail pretty much as soon as somebody can post your bail (after a few hours for processing, depending on how busy the jail is). In these cases, how long you spend in jail is entirely dependent on how long it takes for your bail to be posted. Bail in this case was $750, which is on the very low end.

      Of course, a night in jail is nothing that anybody would want to go through. But it’s more of an administrative thing than a punishment thing. It might not be fair, but it’s how our system works.

      • clydeserra - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        a night in jail is punishment. and it counts against you eventual total punishment.

        Jails have convicted people too.

      • notapsychiatrist - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:58 AM

        (in reply to clydeserra)

        No, it isn’t punishment. He was arrested, and when you are arrested, then you are under suspicion of having committed a crime. There is the chance that you are innocent, i.e. that you did not commit a crime. If someone is found innocent, or their charges are dropped, then what is the night in jail “punishment” for? Punishment for being arrested?

        Until you have been arrested and spent time in jail, you can’t really understand it. I have been. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, ran my mouth a bit, and was taken in by an over-zealous officer. Several times during my interactions with him, he went off for a while to talk on the radio to his superiors. I could tell that he was waffling on whether to arrest me. This happened 2 or 3 times. In the end, I guess they decided to try to make an example out of me.

        All charges were dismissed. I had no recourse (without spending a lot of money); and I ended up losing several hundred dollars in administrative fees. I was wrongly arrested and accused, and I spent 3-4 hours in jail before bail was posted.

        (Lesson learned: never volunteer any information to a cop, even if you think it’s establishing your innocence. Anything you say can and will be used against you, and just about any statement can be construed as giving the cop reasonable suspicion, i.e. cause to arrest you. They will not hesitate to cast you and your statements in the worst possible light. It is their job to do so.)

        It’s unjust and Kafka-esque. However, I really don’t see that there’s any other way of doing things. As I said, many people who are later found to be innocent have spent time in jail. In these cases, what is the “punishment”?

        Yes, I know that jails sometimes hold convicted people as well. There are exceptions all the time, but I was stating the general rule in an effort to cut down on verbiage.

  2. kalinedrive - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Dragging him by his feet seems a little harsh, but shouldn’t they have him in handcuffs?

  3. pauleee - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    I was at both Angels games vs. Miliwaukee in 1982. After the second win, as everyone in the lower deck (of which I was not) was running onto the field, the PA announcer made a comment to not destroy the field as it was likely World Series games would be played there next week (ha!).

    I can’t but think of how all those famous highlights over the years would look like if no one were allowed on the field to celebrate their team winning. Exuberance does not always equate to damage and loss of life. Sometimes, a lot of people are just happy that their team won.

  4. sgtr0c - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Jeez, in Philly, all we do is taze the heck outa you in front of 45k close freinds :)

    In retrospec, the Bucco’s are really the only thing of interest in this MLB 2013 season. Someone please put it bed.

  5. ironman721 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Thank god Texas didn’t hang him!

  6. anthonyverna - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Aaron’s interpretation of the story reminded me of this:

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