HOUSTON – Jose Altuve was more than happy to oblige when a fan ran onto the field and asked Houston’s star second baseman to take a selfie with him during Game 2 of the AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
Security at Minute Maid Park had other plans, wrestling the man away from Altuve before he could click off the shot with his cell phone as the ninth inning was set to begin.
“He kind of hugged me and said something like: ‘OK, we better win today, because I spent all my money on the ticket,’” Altuve said. “He pulled his phone from his pocket and tried to take a selfie, and I was ready to take it, but then security guys got there and did their job.”
A group of six security guards and police officers pulled the man away before wrestling him to the ground, handcuffing him and escorting him off the field. An Astros spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press that the man was arrested.
Altuve, who has had a tough time this postseason and is 0 for 23, said he wasn’t alarmed when he spied the fan heading his way because he was wearing the proper gear.
“I saw someone running and I said: ‘Astros jersey; I’m fine,’” Altuve said of the man's white Craig Biggio shirt.
Altuve added that the man kept repeating that Houston needed to win Thursday. Altuve told him, “we will.”
And a few minutes after the man was led off the field, they wrapped up a 3-2 victory that gave them a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said he didn't notice the fan on the field “until the crowd started going crazy.”
“I mean, what he did was wrong, but he looked harmless. It looked like he was doing it out of love and respect for Altuve. And I think Altuve handled it very well.”
Houston reliever Ryan Pressly had just had entered the game to begin the ninth when the interruption occurred.
“You hate to see that happen because Pressly was ready and he had to back off and had to regroup himself, because when you’re coming out of the bullpen and they’re playing that song, his song, you sort of get into a flow of things, you take your warmup pitches, and then you’re ready to go,” Baker said.
“So that kind of broke that. But he’s been around a long time and he handled it well,” he said.
Pressly struck out three, working around a two-out walk to earn his second save of the series.