Lost in the thrill of the Los Angeles Dodgers completing a third consecutive walk-off win to sweep the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium was Cody Bellinger being involved in separate incidents of varying degrees of seriousness.
In the bottom of the first inning, he pulled a line drive that went foul into the stands off first base and struck a fan in the head. She was treated by medical personnel and given an ice pack before being transported to a local hospital for precautionary tests.
Bellinger understandably was shaken up and wore a bit of a blank stare until the game resumed minutes later. Then come the ninth inning, the National League MVP candidate couldn’t help by laugh and flash a sheepish smile.
Play was interrupted when a young female fan ran onto the field and hugged Bellinger. He cautiously tried to escape her reach before security closed the distance to apprehend the fan and escort her off the field.
“At first I heard the crowd cheering and I looked to my left and I saw this chick recording with her phone,” Bellinger recalled after the Dodgers’ win. “And then she came up and said, ‘I want to hug you,’ gave me a hug and the security guard tackled her.
“Odd. Definitely odd. She got tackled and I said, ‘You know you’re going to jail?’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah, I know. It was worth it.’ Maybe not for her parents. They’ve got to pay the fine.”
“It was innocent. I thought it was pretty funny, to be honest. It seemed like she just wanted to hug me.”
Bellinger received ‘MVP’ chants immediately after and was razed a bit by Alex Verdugo. Meanwhile, the situation was a bit more nerve-racking for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, at least initially.
“First instinct, you’re worried about the player’s well-being and health and making sure someone doesn’t have a bad motive,” he said. “You could see it was harmless (but) definitely don’t recommend it. I’m happy Cody came out of it fine.
“Hopefully someone posts bail for this young lady.”
While Bellinger was able make light of the situation, it occurred again Monday night at Chase Field, which may change his view and require swift action by MLB.