Art by Molly Brooks
Fans running on the field during games is nothing new. The most fortunate of us have witnessed it firsthand, among the cheering crowd. The rest have watched on TV or in web clips, as the commentators tut-tut and the cameras turn away. But what we don't see are the moments following the crowd-pleasing tackle, once the half-clothed sprinters have been hauled off the field and play has resumed.
So to learn more about post-streak life, Extra Mustard assembled a panel of seven intrepid wall-hoppers. The group includes:
Collin Grundstrom: The 24-year-old Jefferson City, Missouri native streaked, full-on naked, at the May 24, 2012 Phillies-Cardinals game in St Louis.
Mark Harvey: Better known as “Batman”—a nod to the undies and cape he wears while running on the field—the 27-year-old debuted his shtick at an Orioles game at Camden Yards on April 6, 2012. He later followed that up with a sprint during a September 23, 2012 Patriots-Ravens game.
Yannis Carayannopoulos: A first-year college student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON, Carayannapoulos, 18, interrupted the April 10, 2012 Red Sox-Blue Jays game to run across the Rogers Centre in a Speedo.
Kayleigh Hill, Emily Hill, Torrie Hill: The Hill sisters—ages 20, 19, and 17, respectively—ran on the field at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE, during UCLA’s College World Series-clinching victory over Mississippi State on June 25, 2013. Kayleigh and Torrie filmed themselves as they ran.
Christian Langford-Snape: A ski instructor from Somerset, England, now living in Norway, Langford-Snape shed his outerwear and shuffled out to center ice during the second intermission of a March 6, 2013 Sharks-Flames game in Calgary.
What prompted your dash?
Grundstrom: It was my friend’s birthday and we had plans to celebrate that night. I ended up scoring tickets to the game, so I told him, "Sorry man, I have to miss your birthday." That’s where it started, because he said, "Well for my birthday, you need to go streaking." At the game we were sitting there, talking about it, when I said, "You know what? I’m going to do it."
Harvey: The first time, it was my birthday. It was opening day, the stadium was sold out, and I was like, ‘Why not knock it off my bucket list?’ When I got out of jail, the media—including Ellen Degeneres—took notice, and everyone kept asking, "Hey when are you going to do it again?" Ellen even sent me Ellen-themed underwear and a cape. I thought, "I’ve got to do it again." The second time, at the Ravens game, I wore Ellen's cape, but I stuck with my Batman underwear. And I figured that if I was going to get all this attention I might as well use it to raise awareness of a problem, so I wrote "Don't be a bully; be a hero" on my chest.
Kayleigh Hill: It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We were just joking around about it all day: "What if we did this? It’d be hilarious." As we were discussing all these scenarios at the stadium, we finally decided to go.
Carayannopoulos: I honestly don't know when I decided I wanted to do it. But whenever I told people, they would say, "You don’t have the balls," which made me want to do it even more. I brought it up to my parents, and they didn’t think I was actually going to do it. So I bought tickets and asked some friends if they'd come film it. I knew all along that I wanted to write something on my chest, but wasn't sure what. “YOLO” was really overused at the time, and my friends were like, "Hey, this is appropriate. You can show people what YOLO actually means."
Langford-Snape: The previous sporting event I’d attended was a rugby match in England, and there were like five streakers during it. I assumed there was going to be at least one streaker at the hockey game, because I thought it was the normal thing to do, but no one did. Before I went on the rink I was in the toilet, and I was talking to some guy, and I asked if anyone had done it before. He told me about the guy that knocked himself out. Before that point, I hadn't heard of him. When it came to the second period, and I figured, "I might as well do it."
Was booze involved?
Grundstrom: On the way there we were drinking some beers. Had some more beer downtown, then went to the game. Had some more beer. The more drunk I got, the more I thought about it. Then it happened.
Harvey: The first time was on my birthday, so of course. We had shots. The second time, not so much. I had gone to jail after the first one, and I knew I'd likely be going back again, and being hungover in jail was terrible.
Langford-Snape: It was like a bottle of wine on the bus and two pints of Budweiser at the game.
How did you reach to the playing surface?
Grundstrom: I took off my flip-flops and gave my wallet and phone to my friend. We were about 35 rows up, and as I got down towards the field I saw a security guy and a beer vendor standing there. One guy went left and one walked past me, and I knew that was my moment. I ran and jumped and, in mid-air, took off my shorts and shirt. Then I was out there.
Torrie Hill: We were probably about nine rows up, so we were pretty close to the field. In the eighth inning, we moved to the first row. Then we started arguing about who would go first.
Kayleigh Hill: I stood up, and then Torrie jumped the fence. We were like, "Oh crap, we actually have to do this."
Carayannopoulos: We got to the game late, in the second inning, and I was so scared I couldn’t put sentences together. My buddies were trying to talk to me, and it’s all still blurry. I remember tweeting at the end of the third inning, "I’ll go onto the field." None of my friends back home were willing to lend me tear-away pants because they probably weren't going to get them back. So I had taken a pair of basketball shorts, cut them in half, and taped them back together. As I walked to my seat, they were falling off. And then when I got onto the field, they wouldn't even tear completely. I almost tripped.
Harvey: At the Orioles game, there's a little platform out in the back that I started dancing on. I had, like, 50 $1 bills in my underwear, and I threw them out in the crowd. Then my brother told me to go, and I jumped off.
Langford-Snape: Originally I planned to get undressed in the toilets and run out, but I think someone would have grabbed me. So I walked down to the front seats and just started getting undressed. It got to a point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it, and then I found myself getting undressed, and I just jumped over.
Did you have a plan for your run?
Grundstrom: I just wanted to stay out there as long as I could. I knew I was going to get taken down one way or another, but I was a little intoxicated, so that wasn't too big of a concern. I ran from right field over to left field, tried to go back to center, and that’s where I slipped.
Harvey: I intended to do some dances—it was all about entertaining the crowd. I didn't want to put up a fight or try to get back into the stands.
Kayleigh Hill: We just started running and each did our own things. We were on the left side of the outfield, and I tried to make it to the right side. I saw, like, five security guards coming at me, and I tried to juke ‘em out.
Torrie Hill: I swooped around trying to pump the crowd up. I don't know why. I really wanted to get them going.
Carayannoupoulos: I wanted to slide into home plate and do a cartwheel or something, but when I got onto the field, my mind was totally wiped. I forgot about everything and just ran from security. It was the longest 50 seconds of my life, the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve had by far. I passed Kevin Youkilis when I ran through the infield, and he told me to sit down because I was going to get tackled. That was fun, being that close to a player.
Was security gentle?
Grundstrom: When I got taken down on the field, someone actually punched me—I took a shot right in my ribs. I was just laying there, saying, "Guys, I’m done." I wasn’t fighting them.
Harvey: I’m pretty athletic, so I ran a bit and I juked the cops at the Orioles game and security at the Ravens game. That allowed me to do a little more dancing and rile up the crowd. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush, because you get all the fans cheering.
Emily Hill: I was the first one to get caught. I ran towards centerfield and there was this one guy coming at me. I saw his face, and he was good looking, so I let him get me.
Kayleigh Hill: They didn’t tackle us. They basically just bear-hugged us, so we couldn’t run away.
Carayannopoulos: The tackle didn't hurt, but afterward one of the guards sat on my head, and they were twisting my arms in different directions, yelling all sorts of stuff at me. Then I did a nice little heel click during the walk out, which didn’t help. They twisted my arms even more.
What happened after you were dragged off the field?
Grundstrom: Security kept questioning me on why I did it. I didn’t want to explain it all to them, so I just said, "I lost a bet." They actually threw me against a wall in the holding cell, to the point where I had to jump and slam my back and handcuffed arms against the wall to keep from hitting my head.
Emily Hill: We were taken back into the security office inside the stadium, and they got information from us there, and then handed us off to the Omaha police. There was this one guy that was trying to make us feel really bad, saying we were a disappointment.
Carayannopoulos: They took me into some back part of the Rogers Centre, where they asked me a bunch of questions: Where am I from? Was I drunk? How old am I? And then, while I was still in my speedo, they brought me to the Toronto police station. I was put in a cell until my parents got to Toronto.
Langford-Snape: They put handcuffs on me and took me into some room in the outskirts of the stadium. There were about 10 cops just staring at me, asking me the same questions. They weren’t mean or anything, but they didn't seem amused. I think they were just trying to get me worried.
Harvey: Both times I was in a stadium holding cell for about an hour. At the Orioles game I actually hurt my foot, but I didn’t realize it until after the fact because the adrenaline was pumping so much. They took me to the hospital after that.
Authorities throw the book at you?
Grundstrom: The charge was something like, "spectator on the field." [Ed's note: He was also charged with lewd and lascivious conduct.] It landed me on the sex offender list.
Harvey: I got off scott-free after the Orioles game, other than a night spent in jail. But after the Ravens game they were able to bring the Orioles charges back in addition to the new ones. I had to serve a weekend in jail, pay a $500 fine, got a trespassing charge on my record, was put on probation, and had to do community service.
Emily Hill: We’re banned from the ballpark for a year, and Kayleigh and I were arrested and fined $500 each for trespassing.
Torrie Hill: Because I was a minor I wasn't arrested and didn't have to pay a fine, but I did have to do community service.
Carayannopoulos: The original plan was to go butt-naked, but then I looked up the possible consequences of doing that. I learned that it could be considered exposing yourself to a minor, which would make you a sex offender. So I decided to go with a Speedo. That saved me from a lot of charges. I ended up getting a one-year ban from the stadium, and the incident was on my record until I completed a couple of tasks and wrote a couple of letters.
Langford-Snape: I was banned from the stadium for a year, and fined $172. They gave me some slip to pay the fine, but I lost it straight away, so I had to go to the courthouse and sort it all out.
How did friends and family react?
Grundstrom: A couple of friends said, "I can’t believe you did that. You are crazy." They told me about how whenever they would hear about it, they would hysterically laugh. It brought pride and joy that I was their friend.
Harvey: My friends all know I'm a free spirit, but even this surprised them when I did it the first time. And when I got back to jail after the second time, everyone there remembered me. They were like, "Batman’s back!" Cops would pull me out of the cell for pictures and then put me back in.
Emily Hill: All of our friends were at the same party, and it was announced there. Everybody was hashtagging #freeteamhill that night. Our parents found out from the police.
Torrie Hill: I'm the only one that had to be picked up by my mom at the police station. The whole ride home I got a lecture about how disappointed she was in me. I was mad at my sisters for leaving me alone with her.
Kayleigh Hill: We ended up having to do a lot of chores around the house. Like, the next day we had to go out and pull weeds.
Langford-Snape: Everyone was surprised. None of the guys I was with knew what I was going to do, so when they saw someone streaking, they were like, "Oh, that kind of looks like Christian." The guy in charge of our group, the ski instructor leader, got very worried about it, started flapping a bit. My family just laughed.
Carayannopoulos: My parents were furious. I was grounded for a decent amount of time, and they told me I had to fix any resulting messes on my own. But at school the next day, I got a standing ovation in my homeroom class. And then when I walked into the cafeteria at lunch, I got another standing ovation. I even got called down into my vice principal’s office and was congratulated.
What's your legacy?
Grundstrom: It was surreal for me, and overwhelming in a sense. I did not think this was going to blow up that big. I had heard about other people that ran out there with clothes on, but me being completely naked was different. Shortly after the run I got a job at an insurance company, Mutual of Omaha. I was up front with them about the streaking, and they did a background check and everything cleared. Then, three months into it, as I was getting ready to receive my bonus, they decided to terminate my contract. The reason they gave was the streaking.
Carayannopoulos: The video that was posted had a ton of views. Enough people tweeted it at Drake that he ended up tweeting it from his own account, and following grew from, like, 200 to over 1,000 in a matter of two days. I’ve never had that much attention before. It was fun while it lasted.
Langford-Snape: I didn’t think it would get as big as it did. It ended up, I think, on the Canada.com front page, USA Today front page, and about 50 other web sites.
Harvey: Everyone says I’m a good luck charm. When I did it at the Orioles’ opening day game, the team made it to the playoffs, which they hadn’t done since 1997. When I did it at the Ravens game, they later won the Super Bowl. Now people are telling me I should do it at the World Cup in Brazil. That’s the next big thing isn’t it?
Emily Hill: Soon after that night, I tweeted about the security guard who grabbed me, something like, "I hope he follows me". He did, and then he DM’d me, and we actually talked for a little while. Then, later on I ended up being a match with the Mississippi State pitcher on Tinder, and so he messaged me and he was like, "You ran the field right before I was about to pitch. Nice."
Harvey: I don’t regret it. Yeah, I got jail time, and yeah, it’s breaking the law, but I did it to entertain, and to put my [anti-bullying] message out there. The experience afterward made it worth it for me, because I met so many new people. I love meeting new people. Plus, Ellen sent me a new Ellen cape.
Emily Hill: We can't necessarily say that we don’t regret it, but I wouldn’t say we do. At college, literally any party I go to, my roommates will introduce me as, "This is the girl that ran onto the field at the College World Series!" A lot of guys will ask about it, when before they didn’t talk to me at all.
Kayleigh Hill: I wouldn’t do it again, and I wouldn’t tell people to do it, but it was fun, and I think it’ll be funny later on.
Langford-Snape: Definitely not. Maybe if they deported me back to England, then definitely. To be honest, I think I did them a favor, because it was good family fun. I didn’t take my boxers off, so everyone could enjoy it. I made the game more entertaining.
Grundstrom: What made it worth it for me was the reaction from my best friend, who is overseas in Afghanistan with the Marines. He messaged me, "Collin, you’ve always been the person that makes everyone laugh. Over here, it’s a struggle. Me and my platoon want to thank you for the hour of laughter that you gave us. We forgot where we were, and you brought us that calm." That in itself made it worth it for me. You can't stress about the negative things. I got my "Hakuna Matata" tattoo for a reason.
It's only appropriate to end with a Great Moments in Streaking gallery. Enjoy, possibly.