NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox left fielder Jim Rice charged into the stands at Yankee Stadium Saturday after a spectator snatched his cap and then used what Rice later said were racial slurs.
Three spectators were issued summonses by New York City police after the incident, which occurred in the bottom of the eighth inning after Rice and shortstop Spike Owen converged on Dan Pasqua’s short fly.
Rice collided with Owen, knocking the shortstop to the ground and losing his cap before catching the ball near the stands along the left field line. A fan then reached over and grabbed Rice’s cap from the ground.
The outfielder asked for the hat to be returned, and when the fan did not do so, signaled to the dugout for another. Eventually, Rice received Don Baylor’s cap, but in the interim he continued talking to the spectator.
‘I offered another cap for that one — it’s the one I like. He got abusive with racial slurs and other things,’ said Rice, who is black.
Rice ran about six rows into the seats after the fan, and several teammates quickly followed. Yankee Stadium security officers also intervened.
‘Evidently, the guy grabbed the hat and Jimmy asked him for it back,’ Boston manager John McNamara said. ‘Then the guy got into obscenities, racial obscenities about him and the club.
‘One of my players isn’t going over the rail without me going after him. There’ll at least be one guy behind him.’
Police said Thomas J. Nihill, 27, listed as living at 1756 East 12th St. in Brooklyn, was issued a summons for disorderly conduct. Nihill apparently took Rice’s cap, police said.
Police also said Gilbert Ayala, 27, of 7457 Peggy Ave. in Riverside, Calif., was given a summons for disorderly conduct, and that Thomas Bertero, 23, of 640 Vail Road., in Parsippany, N.J., was given a summons for trespassing.
Bertero ran onto the field after his cigarettes fell through the padding of one of the outfield fences, police said.
The three spectators were to appear in Bronx Criminal Court on Oct. 30, police said.
The Yankees won the game 11-6.
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