Watch: MLB fan with decoy ball kicked out for interference


There was a pretty funny moment during Wednesday’s matchup between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tampa’s Tropicana Field.

Well, it probably wasn’t funny for Renato Nunez, the Rangers rookie who lost out on his first home run of the season due to fan interference.

With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Nunez hit a deep drive to right-center field off Rays starter Jake Faria.

At the last second, a fan decked out in Rays attire leaned over the outfield railing and caught the line drive.

FBI Raids Home of Big City Democratic Mayor in Early Hours of the Morning

Nunez assumed it was a home run and started rounding the bases. It would have been his first dinger of the year and the second of his young career.

But the umpires said the fan interfered with the play, and thus ruled it was a ground-rule double rather than a home run.

Nunez wound up being stranded on base, so essentially, the ruling took a run off the board for the Rangers.

However, the fan’s glove dropped below the fence after he caught the ball, leading to some to wonder if it might have been a home run had he not interfered.

Do you think this fan should have been kicked out of the stadium?

Replays seemed to be inconclusive, meaning Nunez may never know if the call was the right one.

Meanwhile, before being escorted from the premises, the fan kept the ball he caught and threw a different, decoy ball, out onto the field.

That’s not the way it works, guy. You’re supposed to throw the actual home run ball back.

Watch: Cameraman Saves Reporter as Baseball Fires Toward Her During Insane Yankees-Braves Matchup

Nunez didn’t get his first home run of the year, but the Rangers are high on him, with one American League scout even going to so far as to compare him to Nelson Cruz. It probably won’t be long before he hits his next homer.

The Rays ended up winning the game 4-2 to improve to 5-13, while the Rangers dropped to 7-13.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise