“Rally Cat” invades baseball field and gives fans several reasons to cheer

Over the history of Major League Baseball, many unauthorized objects, people, and animals have made their way onto the field. The most spectacular incident happened in Cleveland, when ten cent beer night led to a literal riot one evening in 1974. At a game in St. Louis in 2017, there was no riot, just cheering, when a cat ran onto the field.

It was the bottom of the sixth and the visiting Kansas City Royals were leading St. Louis 5-4. But now the Cardinals had the bases loaded. Yadier Molina was at the plate and suddenly pointed at something with his bat. A cat was dashing across the outfield — a very handsome cat who looked a lot like a small lynx. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain stared the cat down, sending him scampering toward the outfield stands. Groundskeeper Lucas Hackmann caught up with the furry trespasser at the warning track. The crowd cheered while he carried the cat to the infield stands (he got a few bites and scratches for his trouble). What happened next earned the cat his name: “Rally Cat.” On the very first pitch after the feline intrusion, Molina hit a grand slam.

Meanwhile there some drama off the field. When Hackmann jumped into the stands with Rally Cat, a fan claimed the cat belonged to her but when he was handed to her, he slipped from her grasp (probably after some biting and scratching) and ran off. He was subsequently found in a downtown St. Louis park and taken to St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. Wild though he looked, it turned out he wasn’t actually feral. Nevertheless, Rally Cat spent ten days in quarantine. What came next was a brief custody battle. The Cardinals wanted to keep him as a mascot, but the shelter thought a normal home would be best for him. The shelter got its way and Rally Cat was put up for adoption.

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