(BaseballSTL) -- Millions of people around the world admire the boys of summer. Many of us would love to have an opportunity to take the field and run alongside of some baseball's greats. Although that sounds like a fun thing to do, unless you're employed by one of Major League Baseball's 30 teams, it is not a good idea.
Many baseball fans believe that running onto the playing field is really no big deal. They do it because of a bet, a dare, or because they have had too many adult beverages. While their friends laugh or hang their heads in shame, many think they will only get a slap on the wrist for their rule breaking act. What they don't know is the consequences are far worse.
Remember the streaker who entered the field of play at Busch Stadium two weeks ago on a bet? Collin Grunderstorm, 22, didn't get off the hook easily. He was not escorted off the field in handcuffs because police didn't want him waving to fans, he was going to jail. Grunderstorm spent the night in jail, was charged with lewd and indecent content and going on a playing field, these are both violations of St. Louis city ordinances. He also got hit with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in fines and almost got registered as a sex offender.
Let's move on to last Friday night in Queens, New York when the Cardinals took on the New York Mets. As Mets Johan Santana completed the first no-hitter in Mets history did you catch the fan who joined the celebration on the field? Rafael Diaz, 32, of Long Island, is a die-hard Mets fan who took to the field to take part in the celebration because he couldn't contain his excitement.
Diaz was arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing and entering the field of a New York sports event. Those charges could result in a year, that's right a year, in prison. He and his friend, who also ran the field but never made it to first base, spent not one but two nights in jail and of course he had to pay his share of fines. Oh wait there's more.
He has been banned from Citi Field, not for the remainder of the season, but the remainder of his life. And to put the icing on the cake, because he spent two nights behind bars the father of two missed his son's first birthday party. Don't you wish you could have tapped the line of the phone conversation he had from jail with his wife. Someone is sleeping on the couch when he gets home.
So the next time you are at a baseball game and your friend says, "20 bucks says you won't run on the field," say you are absolutely right. Nothing can be worth the thousands of dollars, having to pay a great lawyer, clearing your name, and most importantly having that conversation with your wife about why you are missing your kid’s birthday.