San Antonio teenager sports banana costume to distract Astros during ALCS game against Rangers, report says

Christian Saenz was seen on TV jumping and waving when Astros pitchers took the mound

Texas Rangers' Adolis Garcia, left, watches his home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy (65) during the second inning in Game 4 of the baseball American League Championship Series Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. San Antonio junior high student Christian Saenz is seen behind home plate, cheering on his team. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ARLINGTON, Texas – If you watched Game 4 of the AL Championship Series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers on Thursday night, you likely saw a large wiggling banana behind home plate.

It turns out that 13-year-old Christian Saenz from San Antonio was inside that costume, and he had an agenda — distract Astros pitchers as much as possible, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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Saenz told the Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young that he found the costume at a Spirit Halloween store, and he immediately thought of a gameday outfit.

“When I was at the Spirit Halloween store, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. I can wear this to the Rangers game and try to be a distraction to the Astros,’” Saenz, who attends junior high school in San Antonio, told the newspaper.

Saenz and his family were in the Home Plate Suites, and he was seen on TV jumping and waving when Astros pitchers took the mound.

However, when Rangers pitchers were up, he removed the costume because he didn’t want to possibly cause a distraction.

“Why would I want to distract my own pitcher?” he told the newspaper.

He added that the home-plate umpire looked at him twice, but it’s otherwise unknown if any player noticed.

While the banana’s good juju helped at first, the luck didn’t last long: the Astros ended up rolling to a 10-3 victory over the Rangers.

The series is now tied. Game 5 will be played Friday afternoon at Globe Life Field, where the defending World Series champion Astros are 8-1 this season.

The home team has yet to lead in this ALCS, which switches back to Houston for Game 6 on Sunday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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