Scary moment for Midland Rockhounds (Class AA; Texas League) pitcher Blake Hassebrock earlier this week when a drunken fan took exception to his pitching and stormed the field in Corpus Christi to confront the minor leaguer.
It was in a game hosted by the Corpus Christi Hooks at Whataburger Field, with the Hooks up 9-0. Hassebrock had just hit first baseman Telvin Nash in the leg with a pitch, and the fan — 35-year-old Nikolas Swope— didn’t like the call, so he decided to directly tell Hassebrock about his displeasure. As you can see from the video below, Hassebrock first appeared stunned, but quickly recovered and his teammates took Swope out with a clean tackle. The situation settled down after the Rockhounds’ bench and bullpen took the field, and it looks like the tackle shook up Swope enough to where he walked off the field without further incident, escorted first by the umpires and then the coaching staff.
Arrested after the game, Swope — who was determined by police to be under the influence of alcohol — was charged with criminal trespassing and is accused of threatening assault. From the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:
“I saw (the fan) out of the corner of my eye and I honestly thought it was someone from their dugout, like a trainer, going to see Nash,” Hassebrock said. “Then I realized when he was halfway between the (foul) line and the mound, that he was a fan. My first thought was I just hoped he didn’t have a gun or something weird. If he’s crazy enough to be on the field, who knows what he had on him. By the time he got to me, he stopped and it looked like he came to and regretted being out there in the first place. We didn’t (make contact).
“This was something out of ‘Eastbound and Down.’ (What he said) was pretty much inaudible, drunken gibberish. (There was) a couple of f-bombs and some slurring. I’m pretty sure he was upset I hit Nash.“
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