Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the sporting landscape, another moment comes along. On Wednesday that latest moment arrived thanks to American baseball star for the Pittsburgh Pirates Rodolfo Castro.
The Pirates infielder was left-faced during the middle of his team’s contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks as he slid into third base during the fourth inning.
Castro raced toward third base as a throw from the outfield came in, as he hit the ground and slid towards the base – the impact of his move launched his phone out of his back pocket and into the dirt. Third-base umpire Adam Hamari immediately spotted the mobile phone that was resting against the base.
Castro, 23, immediately picked it up and handed it to Pirate’s third-base coach Mike Rebelo who looked bemused by what was being given to him.
Professional sports tend to have strict codes surrounding electronic devices and mobile phones. Major League Baseball doesn’t allow players or coaches to have their mobile phones on them while they’re in the dugout.
An embarrassed Castro spoke about the incident to the media after the game which the Pirates lost 6-4.“I don’t think there’s any professional ballplayer that would ever go out there with any intentions of taking a cellphone,” Castro told media members through an interpreter. “It’s horrible it happened to me. It was very unintentional.”
Castro explained his sliding glove is generally placed in his back pocket and he believed this was all he had on him.
“My first day back, if I was to be the center of attention, I would want it to be helping the team win, but never in this form,” Castro said. “This is something that was an accident, a mistake, something I’m going to learn from. But something I didn’t mean to happen.’’
The never before seen moment sent social media into a spin with Castro trending on Twitter as the footage circulated.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalist Mike Persak wrote: “I straight up can’t believe this happened what the hell”.
Bay Area radio producer Kyle Madson wrote: “Given this sport’s problems with cheating via electronics over the last decade or so this seems like the kind of thing that shouldn’t be allowed.”
Castro’s phone may be lighting up on Wednesday if the MLB opts to investigate and hand down a penalty.