What you see above is the scrum on the mound a few moments after Johan Santana put the finishing touches on Friday night’s no-hitter. I assume you’ve all spotted the rogue element: Who’s that guy in the pinstriped Gary Carter jersey?
Turns out it was a fan named Rafael Diaz, who ran onto the field and joined the celebration. You can see his route to the mound in these screen shots:
Diaz managed to join the celebration for a few seconds before a pair of maroon-jacketed security staffers separated him from the players and wrestled him to the ground:
You can see the video from which I took those screen shots here. As for Diaz, he spent two nights in the clink and missed his son’s first birthday party.
All of which raises an interesting question: When did teams start cracking down on fans storming the field for celebrations? To put this in some historical perspective, a few obvious benchmarks come to mind:
• When Bill Mazeroski hit his World Series-winning homer in 1960, there were loads of fans on the field well before he made it to home plate.
• When the Mets won the 1969 World Series, so many fans spilled out on the field that the sod was torn up, which turned out to be a major pain for the Jets for the rest of that season.
• Four years later, in 1973, fans again poured out onto the Shea Stadium diamond when the Mets won the fifth and deciding game of the 1973 NLCS against the Reds.
• Six months after that, on April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run and was joined by two fans during his home run trot.
• Two and a half years after that, in October of 1976, Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off homer to win the ALCS for the Yankees and was mobbed by fans as he circled the bases.
All those scenarios are unthinkable today. For that matter, it’s pretty astonishing that Diaz managed to get onto the field on Friday night. When did teams start getting serious about security? I’m not sure, although I remember reading an interview with Tug McGraw in which he recalled being on the mound to close out the 1980 World Series and said there were horse-mounted police ringing the field. So apparently things were getting a bit less fan-friendly at that point (at least in Philly). If anyone knows more, fill us in.
In case you missed it yesterday, Phil had tremendous coverage of Saturday’s Giants/Cubs throwback game. Check it out here.
In addition, photographer and Uni Watch fan Brad Mangin was working that game and took nearly 200 killer photos. Enjoy them here — they’re a feast for the eyes.
One other note regarding that game: “Giants radio broadcasters Duane Kiper and Dave Flemming mentioned the Giants had planned on having Bochy wear a suit to manage the game and he agreed to go along with it,” says reader MIchael Haug. “But then someone did some research and found the manager back then actually wore a uniform.” The manager in question, of course, was John McGraw, who sometimes managed in street clothes but often wore a uniform — including, I guess, in 1912. Too bad, since it would’ve been cool to have Bochy skippering in a suit.
Of course, even if Bochy had worn a suit, one element on the field still would have stuck out: the umpires. When will we have a throwback game with period-appropriate ump attire?
Flap Jacks: I feel like I’ve lost track of who is and isn’t going double-flapped in MLB at the moment. There are these guys (but not Willie Harris, who was demoted to the minors by the Reds a few weeks ago) — and who else? Anyone?
While we’re at it: Who’s currently batting bare-handed besides these guys? And does anyone wear one glove other than Hunter Pence? And who’s still wearing their pockets inside-out besides Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and AJ Pierzynski?
Thanks in advance for your help, which will be put to good use in an ESPN piece I’m working on.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Total Wilponian clusterfuck last night at Shea. John Franco was being inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame, so the team decided to “honor” him by wearing the black jerseys for the first time this season (even though we’d previously been told they wouldn’t be worn at home this year). Now, all the other jerseys the Mets are wearing this year have the team’s 50th-anniversary patch on the left sleeve and the Gary Carter memorial patch on the right. But the black jerseys have the team’s skyline logo patch on the left sleeve (completely unnecessary) and the anniversary patch on the right, so they decided to move the Carter memorial to the upper-right chest area. Embarrassing. … Speaking of that Mets/Cards game, here’s something unusual: Both starting centerfielders — Andres Torres and Adron Chambers — wore No. 56. … New color scheme apparently in the works for the Bobcats. … Speaking of color schemes, a jpeg of a black Maryland football field has been circulating for about two weeks now. I’ve been ignoring it, since it’s obviously just some kid’s concept image. But now comes word that it might be legit — or it might not (read the update at the bottom of that page). Personally, I don’t buy it, but ya never know. … New red helmet apparently on tap for Arizona football. … “At last week’s U.S./Brazil friendly, they followed the custom of having kids walk out with the players,” says Austin Chen. “But instead of having the kids wear the uniforms of the two teams, they had them wear McDonald’s jerseys, completely ruining the entire gesture.” … Michael Frick has made some Steelers and Panthers Cubees. … “I know the Red Wings are ‘presented by Amway,’ but geez — check out this mic cover,” says Jason Heminger. … Very nice historical gallery of Seattle baseball uniforms here (from Steve Ramsey). … Check this out: The San Jose Giants are wearing an “SJ” logo on their striped socks. Seems a bit like overkill, plus it looks like a dollar sign (from C. Trent Rosecrans). … This is weird: a set of baseball cap-themed playing cards, from New Era (from Kenny Loo). … Chris Wautel notes that Shane Victorino has “Kalo Kingston” stitched onto his glove — apparently a reference to the Soul Caliber IV video game. … The current issue of Slam shows Anthony Davis in a Hornets jersey, even though he hasn’t been drafted yet (from Jeff Downe). … Latest MLB team to join the bat knob decal bandwagon: the Giants. … Matthew Algeo found a 1907 Cincinnati Enquirer article about baseball equipment up to that point in time. Great quote: “Up to 1877, all the catchers thought of for protection was a hunk of rubber to hold between the teeth.” Also, there’s a mention of Fred Parent, a Boston Americans (later Red Sox) shortstop who had recently started wearing a crude batting helmet, described as a “pad … about three inches thick and plastered on the side of the head from the shoulder to the top of the head.” According to the article’s author, “[T]he whole thing makes it plain that Parent has grown cowardly.” … A Coca-Cola blog recently ran a series of entries about old Coke delivery uniforms. Click the links at the top of the page to see the whole series. Awesome stuff (big thanks, Kirsten). … Turns out there’s been an Orioles jersey with JrOB — but it wasn’t worn by Cal Ripken Jr. (fun find by Joe Hilseberg). … New home kit for Liverpool. … New logo set for North Dakota State. “That page also includes a link to an interesting 17-page graphic standards manual,” notes proud NDSU alum Andrew Wrucke. … The Japanese Olympic swimming team is using a banned swimsuit design for training, but not for races (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: Here are Jamaica’s Olympic track uniforms. … Ted Bloss made himself an Art Monk Cubee. … “I was watching the crew work on A.J. Viso’s car after qualifying for the Belle Isle Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon and did a double-take when I saw ‘Detroit’ misspelled on both sides of the wing,” says Scott Held. “About 30 minutes later, a crewman was applying a new MGM Grand decal, but with the ‘O’ and ‘I’ cut out, presumably to rearrange them. I’m assuming this was a one-race sponsorship, so perhaps their printer sent them a stack of labels with the misspelled word.” … While looking for something else, I came across this shot of former A’s catcher Adam Melhuse wearing an odd cap. The photo is from May 15, 2005, so I assume the “15” on the cap relates to the date somehow. Anyone know more? … ” My dad played in the Astros’ organization from 1970-1973,” says Brett Crane. “At some point along the way — he doesn’t recall exactly when — he was issued this 1965 shooting star jersey.” Man, look at that chain-stitching! … Baylor’s baseball team is outfitted by Under Armour, which may explain why Jake Miller was wearing Nike cleats with the swooshes blacked out the other day (good spot by Drew Mastin). … Mets catcher Josh Thole, who returned from a lengthy concussion-induced DL stint just in time to catch Johan Santana’s no-hitter on Friday, has switched to the hockey-style mask. … While looking for something else, I came upon a shot of Jose Cruz in an Alaska Goldpanners uni. I’ve seen lots of famous players in Goldpanners garb before, but not Cruz. … Good story about how the Twins have been wearing their old “M” cap over the past week (from David Teigland). … Here’s something I don’t recall having noticed before: Last Sept. 11, hosiery hero Josh Outman, who was then with the A’s, wore little American flag patches on his stirrups. That seems like, um, a bit much. … Teamo Bigg was doing some thrift-shopping in Clinton, Maryland, and spotted a football helmet with an NFL Players Association logo and another with a patch instead of a decal.