What is 15 seconds of fame worth?
As storied as the national pastime itself is the baseball fan's fleeting thought of, "should I run on the field during a game?" Common sense usually prevails for most fans, but others have jumped the fences onto the fields and paid the price. But, what exactly is the price? What's the penalty for running on a baseball field? JustBats.com attempts to answer to help prevent you from doing this attention-seeking practice.
Most fans that run on the field do so because they're motivated by adrenaline or under the influence of alcohol. But, of course, some are premeditated too. The fines vary from ballpark to ballpark based on state law. For example, in Ohio, running onto a professional field is punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Assuming you remain clothed and do not physically harm anyone, the most common fine for running on a professional baseball field is a $1,000 fine and one night in jail.
Keep in mind that this is the initial fine. Most states also require a sentencing, which can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Here are some examples of potential consequences outside of initial bail and jail time:
- In 2010, a Mets fan who ran on the field during a game was able to avoid an extended jail time after posting bail. However, during sentencing, the fan received 20 days of community service and a $3,000 fine. His legal fees were more than $10,000 total.
- In 2002, a 34-year-old man and his son ran onto the field at Comiskey Park and attacked Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa. They received jail time without bail.
- In 2010, a 17-year-old Phillies fan was tasered after running on the field.
- In 2008, another Phillies fan was not only booed by the crowd, but despite surrendering without incident, he was charged with defiant trespass, disorderly conduct, and narcotics possession.
- In 2006, a Yankees fan jumped into the netting behind home plate. He pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and received a lifetime ban from Yankee Stadium.
- Some fans have received a lifetime ban from the field and team, but this is not as prevalent as many believe. Despite technological advances, teams understand how difficult this is to police.
Ballparks consider the initial run on the field as trespassing. While the above cases are all different, a fan that runs on the field and is compliant with officers/staff when caught will be immediately removed from the stadium and released on bond pending a court appearance. Every Major League Baseball stadium is equipped with a holding cell, and some ballparks have multiple holding cells.
Basically, don't run on to a professional baseball field...it doesn't pay.
Do you know anyone who has run on a field? What happened to them? Did they receive a fine for running on field?
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