HOUSTON -- Usually, baseball players don't think it's funny when a fan runs on the field. But Mets players could not hold back the laughter even a day later about a fan's Spiderman-like climbing and jumping performance in centerfield during the ninth inning of Friday night's game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
The entire escapade was caught on video (of course) and made its way on to YouTube within hours, where it has become an overnight sensation.
"At first I thought, 'What's he going to do?' " said Jason Pridie, who had a great view because he was playing centerfield. "You never know if they're going to come at you or just run around. He definitely had it planned out. He knew what he was doing."
The fan sprinted toward centerfield and made a beeline for the grass hill in deepest center, a unique feature of Minute Maid Park that slopes up to the centerfield fence. He juked a police officer with a move that would have made an NFL running back proud and jumped over the fence.
But he wasn't done there.
The fan eluded another security person, scaled a second wall and jumped onto a berm covered in thick grass. He trudged up the grass to the stadium's outermost wall, climbed up and then disappeared by scaling a railing and leaping down through an opening onto Texas Street as the majority of the crowd of 28,791 cheered and howled.
Asked what he was thinking during the incident, Rodriguez said: "I wasn't thinking. I was laughing. Seeing how he jumped and climbed those walls out there, crawling through the grass, it seemed hilarious to me. He had it planned -- wall, wall, wall, wall."
According to an Astros public relations official, the fan was arrested outside the stadium and charged with criminal trespass in a sports venue and criminal evading arrest -- two Class A misdemeanors.
The fan's name was not released by the Houston Police Department; a spokesman for the department's media relations office said such information is not released on weekends.
But the fan already has picked up a nickname on the Internet -- "Spidey-Fan."
"You could tell he had a purpose," Pridie said. "He'd probably been planning that since the third inning, when he had a couple two or three beers. It was definitely impressive. It's the best I've ever seen."