Fan Interference at Suntrust Park

Wednesday Night, Atlanta Braves faced the Pittsburgh Pirates at the newly built SunTrust Park. Skies were clear and baseball was being played with no interruption until the bottom of the eighth inning when a fan interfered with a batted ball. Though that was the case, many questioned the security guard’s actions that would follow.

Braves third baseman, Rio Ruiz hit a ball down the right field line off of relief pitcher, Johnny Barbato. Ruiz was eyeing a possible extra base hit when a fan put his hands over the railing to snag the ball. The fan quickly gave the ball up to the nearby kid.

A SunTrust Park security member immediately hopped over and grabbed the fan. He ejected him and took back the ball back.

Under Rule 6.1(e) Spectator Interference,

“When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.”

Ruiz was award with a double, his first of the season and his career.

Under SunTrust Park Security on Braves.com,

  1. For the safety and enjoyment of all, guests are reminded to not interfere with a ball in play or trespass onto the playing field. Interference and trespassing are prohibited by Atlanta Braves policy and Cobb County Ordinance. Persons who violate this ordinance are subject to ejection and/or arrest and prosecution.

Though he was in the wrong according to MLB and SunTrust Park rules, he quickly realized his mistake. He then tried hard to convince the security guard to give the ball back to the kid. Even the television broadcasters agreed.

“Have some common sense there, fella, give the ball back to the young man…Give the ball back to the kid. He’s not the one that messed up,” said the television broadcaster.

According to ESPN, Braves made it up to the kid by giving him a team-signed ball.


Jose Ramirez allowed two runs in the ninth, blowing the save and forcing extras. Josh Collmenter followed after but did not make a difference. He gave up seven runs on six hits. The lead was too much to handle and the Pirates took the game 12-5 in 10 innings.

A fan picked up a fair ball to give to a young kid. But then …

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