Two fans invade the field and tackle Braves’ star Acuna Jr. in Denver

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., one of the best players in baseball, was attacked by two fans who ran onto the field during Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver. The incident happened in the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Braves were leading 14-4.

The first fan approached Acuna from behind and hugged him, apparently trying to take a selfie with him. As security guards rushed to detain the fan, a second fan sprinted towards Acuna and knocked him to the ground. Acuna was visibly shaken and angry by the unwelcome contact, but he did not appear to be injured.

Two fans invade the field and tackle Braves’ star Acuna Jr. in Denver
Two fans invade the field and tackle Braves’ star Acuna Jr. in Denver

The security guards quickly subdued both fans and escorted them off the field. The game resumed after a brief delay. Acuna stayed in the game and finished with three hits, including a home run and two stolen bases.

Acuna’s teammates and manager react to the incident

Acuna’s teammates and manager were outraged by the fans’ behavior and expressed their concern for his safety and well-being.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who was on deck when the incident occurred, said he was “scared to death” for Acuna. He said he hoped the fans would face serious consequences for their actions.

“I don’t know what they were trying to do,” Freeman said. “But you don’t touch other people. You don’t touch our players. You don’t touch anybody on the field.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he was “shocked” by what he saw and praised Acuna for handling the situation well.

“I’m just glad he’s OK,” Snitker said. “That’s a scary thing. You never know what somebody’s intentions are or what they’re going to do.”

Snitker also said he hoped the fans would be “prosecuted” for their actions.

“That’s absolutely unacceptable,” Snitker said. “That can’t happen.”

Acuna’s stellar season continues despite the incident

Acuna, who is only 25 years old, is having a phenomenal season for the Braves, who are leading the National League East division with an 84-45 record.

Acuna is hitting .330 with 29 home runs and 61 stolen bases, putting him in contention for the National League MVP award. He is also on pace to become the fifth player in MLB history to record at least 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in a single season.

Acuna did not speak to the media after the game, but he posted a message on his Instagram account thanking his fans for their support and saying he was fine.

“I appreciate all of your messages,” Acuna wrote. “Thank God everything is OK.”

Fans running onto the field is not a new phenomenon

Fans running onto the field during sporting events is not a new phenomenon, but it is rarely seen in baseball and usually does not involve physical contact with players.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, there have been only four incidents since 2000 in which fans made contact with players on the field during an MLB game.

The most recent one happened in 2019, when a fan ran onto the field at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago and tried to hug New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. The fan was tackled by security before reaching Gardner.

The most infamous one happened in 2002, when two fans ran onto the field at Comiskey Park in Chicago and attacked Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa. Gamboa suffered minor injuries and hearing loss as a result of the assault.

The other two incidents happened in 2003 and 2005, when fans ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and tried to high-five or hug Philadelphia Phillies players Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard. Both fans were apprehended by security without harming the players.

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