Fenway Park security was surprisingly chill after an Atlanta man plunked Giancarlo Stanton from the Green Monster.
This fan has a better arm than Johnny Damon ever did
Giancarlo Stanton’s seventh-inning homer against the Red Sox on Saturday was an historic one—it was the Yankees’ 266th of the season, setting a new MLB record—but the fan who caught it didn’t hang onto it. Instead, as is the custom at many ballparks, he threw it back on the field. And he didn’t just toss it—he launched it all the way to second base, where Stanton was turning and heading to third, and hit the Yankees slugger on one hop.
ESPN’s Coley Harvey spoke with the fan on Sunday to get the whole story. The man is Andrew Lastrapes, a 32-year-old from Atlanta. He was making his first ever trip to Fenway Park with his friend Thomas Barton, 32, of Athens, Ga., and another unnamed friend. Lastrapes swears it was an accident.
"When the ball hit him, I was just like, 'Oh, this might be a big deal,'" Lastrapes said.
Immediately, Lastrapes called out to a friend who was standing nearby. He told Thomas Barton they'd better leave. Barton, a 32-year-old Athens, Georgia, man, was a row or two below Lastrapes when the ball was thrown. In video replays of the throw, Barton, wearing a brown shirt, can be seen lifting his arms in celebration.
"I looked at Thomas and was like, 'Let's go,'" Lastrapes said. "So I left, and then I saw a bunch of security go down and [they] just missed me. And then I was one security guard left, and it was an old guy, and he was like, 'Son, did you hit Giancarlo Stanton with that ball?'
"And I was like, 'Yes.'"
Chimed in Barton: "It was said more out of shame."
In the end, it wasn’t a big deal. Fenway security was surprisingly chill about the incident (probably because it was a Yankee who got hit). As Lastrapes was walking away with the security guards, he turned to Barton and said, perhaps over dramatically, “Whatever happens, I’m going to text you later,” to which one guard replied, “Nothing’s going to happen to you.”
Lastrapes wasn’t thrown in some dingy 19th-century jail deep in the bowels of Fenway. He wasn’t even officially kicked out of the park, he told ESPN. He just filled out some paperwork and went to a bar with his friends.
Stanton, meanwhile, also treated it like no big deal, saying that sort of thing happens all the time in the Bronx, too. After all, in 2015 teammate Brett Gardner got plunked a lot harder than Stanton did, and by a Yankees fan.
How’s this for a celebration? Predators center Ryan Johansen scored an overtime game-winner but it wasn’t really worth celebrating since it was just a preseason game, so Johansen went straight for the rink door and down the tunnel.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara did pretty much the same thing after his touchdown run to ice the game vs. the Giants. (Although he ended up coming back to the sideline in the closing moments.)
Farewell to these people, who made baseball more fun
The final day of the baseball season marked the end (or likely end) of the careers of a few of the most entertaining players of this generation.
Hunter Pence, who at age 35 just had the worst season of his career, looks like he’s calling it a career and rode off into the sunset on a motorized scooter.
Adrian Beltre went out in typical Beltre fashion, having a laugh with an opposing player.
Joe Mauer, who was the best hitter in baseball for a stretch, got behind the plate for the first time since concussions forced him to move to first base.
Bits & Pieces
The NBA is trying to get J.R. Smith to cover up his “Supreme” tattoo and SI.com is the only place where you can get detailed legal analysis of the case. ... I really liked this profile of John Urschel, the NFL player who quit to pursue a doctorate in math. ... Rams receiver Robert Woods had his house robbed during Thursday Night Football but a suspect has already been arrested. ... Colts coach Frank Reich is getting ripped after his gutsy fourth-down call in overtime backfired spectacularly. ... Jon Gruden earned his first win of his second Raiders tenure, but not without some controversy. ... There are two winner-take-all games for NL divisions this afternoon.
The play of the weekend, easily
You have to feel for Earl Thomas
Earl Thomas has spent months trying to get the Seahawks to provide him with a little longterm financial security, holding out through training camp and only practicing sporadically in hopes of being as healthy as possible when a team finally decided to pay him.
And then he goes out yesterday and breaks his leg. His season is over and now he’ll be damaged goods when he hits the free agent market in the spring. It’s exactly what he was trying to avoid. So can you blame him for flipping off the Seahawks’ sideline on his way off the field? I can’t.
I’ll get used to this some time around the All-Star break
Seeing Darren Rovell get dunked on is a source of pure joy
Stand proud for the (27) stars and (two) bars
This is my favorite stat of the season
I think this is what they call a “big mood”
Who could have seen this twist coming?
I’m starting to think this Tom Wilson guy might be a little dirty
I wish all mistakes NFL refs made were this innocent
Yeah, sure, why not?
The field is bigger, there’s one extra player, you only get three downs—but Johnny Manziel looks like Johnny Manziel
Gritty gets political
A good song
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