To those in the stands and watching on TV, it was an entertaining romp around the outfield by a fun-loving, young boy who had gotten away from his father and onto the field during the seventh inning of Thursday's game at U.S. Cellular Field.
After initially freezing, he was encouraged by cheering fans and promptly scampered into the outfield, where he was safely scooped up by Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo.
“My first reaction was just to grab him, and start laughing afterwards,” said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of cultural development Jackson Miranda. “What I was thinking was that I hoped a ball doesn’t come and hit him, so that is why I instinctively went to grab him. I didn’t know if the play had stopped or not.”
Upon getting back to the dugout, Viciedo’s teammates warned him to be careful in such situations and said next time to let security handle the problem. It was the father in Viciedo, who has a two-year-old son, acting as much as the player.
It all ended safely, but it certainly may not have, as rookie Nate Jones was in the stretch about to throw his third pitch to Robert Andino when home-plate umpire Jerry Meals luckily called time upon spotting the boy, who appeared to be four or five years old, running.
"Safety is our No. 1 concern, and we are happy that the child is fine," said White Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert in an official statement for the team. "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 parents, who allowed the boy to go onto the field, and their son were ejected from the game for entering the field of play, per Major League Baseball regulations. No further action will be taken.
- Scott Merkin