Herald Journal Columns
June 19, 2006, Herald Journal

Probably not the smartest thing to do

By Aaron Schultz

By now most, if not all of you out there, have seen the video of the Twins game Wednesday night.

You know the video where the fan jumps the fence, slides at home plate during the game, gets up, and gets dropped like a bad habit by the batboy.

I only caught bits and pieces of the game Wednesday since I was playing softball, and didn’t even hear about it until later in the day Thursday.

When I saw the video, I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

It was hilarious when that batboy tackled the guy. I say batboy loosely, since he probably should be called Batman. Wait, there already is a Batman. Anyways, the guy’s name is Nate Reese, and he is 25 years old from Minnetonka.

Reese wrestled in high school, and played rugby in college, according to reports.
He told the Associated Press, “As soon as the guy rounded third, there weren’t any guards around, so I thought I’d hit him.”

Twins reliever Joe Nathan said of the incident, “Play of the game.”

Well, the kid that got tackled was 21-year old Jacob Obermeyer, but there was another guy on the field as well: Obermeyer’s buddy Jeff Arnold, also 21 years old.

If that names sounds familiar to anyone, well, it probably should for some of you.
Arnold is a member of the Young America Cardinals amateur baseball team, and according to reports, he high-fived Torii Hunter while on the field.

While I didn’t hear it, I have heard second hand that Obermeyer was on the morning radio show of 93X, and didn’t exactly make himself look any better.

As for Arnold, a night after jumping on the field and high-fiving Hunter, he was back in a Cardinal uniform, and hit the first pitch he saw for a triple.

“I wanted to bench him last night (Thursday), but then he (Arnold) hit the first pitch he saw over the center fielders’ head for a triple,” Young America head coach Nik Franck said. “First good coaching decision I made this year,” Franck added with a wink.

The Cardinals went on to defeat the Cologne Coyotes 6-1 in Crow River Valley League action, and Arnold ended up going 2-for-4 on the night, with a double to go along with that triple.

Back to the on-field incident at the Metrodome, both Obermeyer and Arnold were ticketed for disorderly conduct, and could be charged with misdemeanors.

However, neither were arrested at any point.

This brings me to the problem with fans coming onto the field.

Sure, Arnold and Obermeyer and were just a couple of nutty kids having a good time.

But, that is not always the case in these incidents. Take the September 2002 attack in Chicago on Kansas City Royals’ first coach Tom Gamboa.

A father and son, both under the heavy influence of drugs and alcohol stormed the field and attacked Gamboa.

Gamboa ended up losing some hearing from the attack.

So, while the crazy antics of a couple of kids just having some fun may be harmless, Major League Baseball should begin taking a much tougher stand in these situations.

Granted the Gamboa incident is probably the exception more than the rule, but there still is no room for fans to come onto the field.

Although, if every batboy was like Reese, there probably would be far fewer fans jumping on the field, no mater how light the punishment may be from law enforcement.