The Miami Marlins’ game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night took a brief and unscheduled pause between the fifth and sixth inning when a cat ran on to the field and scrambled up on to the home run sculpture at Marlins Park.
The cat, despite its obvious athleticism, failed to field the ball or make a play, but its climbing skills did draw applause from the 36,519 crowd.
Both sets of players stopped when the cat – grey, sleek, probably not a bad base-stealer – entered the field of play. It ran along the outfield warning track, shrugged off the attention of Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and a stadium employee, and jumped up into the Marlins’ distinctive/terrifying home run sculpture, where it stopped for a short while and took a little rest.
The sculpture is activated every time a Marlins player scores a home run – fish jump, music plays, and lasers shine for roughly 30 seconds. Marlins president David Samson said if any more home runs were scored, the sculpture would not have been activated for fear of harming the cat.
Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins’ left fielder, who hit the second of his two home runs just before the cat entered the field of play, felt the animal’s eyes on him for a good portion of the game.
“He stayed up there for four innings,” he said. “Every time I went on defense, I looked up there and the cat was hiding its head. I said: ‘What are you doing up there?’ In the last inning I didn’t see it. I don’t know where he went.”
Ozuna, whose team won the game 8-4, contested the notion that the cat had proved a lucky charm, however. “I detest cats,” he said.
The cat did not make itself available for post-game comments. On Wednesday, the Marlins announced that the cat had eluded capture again, and run off into the night.