Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the sports landscape, there comes another time.
On Wednesday, thanks to American baseball star Rodolfo Castro of the Pittsburgh Pirates, that latest moment arrived.
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The Pirates’ infielder was in left field when he slid into third base in the fourth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Castro ran toward third base when an outfield throw went in, hit the grounder and slid into the base — the impact of the move knocking his phone out of his back pocket and into the dirt.
Third base umpire Adam Hamari immediately saw the cell phone on the base.
The 23-year-old Castro immediately picked up and seemed annoyed by what Pirates third-base coach Mike Rebelo gave him.
Professional sports have strict codes around electronic devices and cell phones. Major League Baseball does not allow players or coaches to use their cell phones while in the dugout.
An embarrassed Castro spoke to the media about the incident after the game, which the Pirates lost 6-4.
“I don’t think there’s a professional ball player who goes out there thinking of taking a cell phone,” Castro told members of the media through an interpreter. “What happened to me was horrible. Obviously, it was very unintentional.”
Castro stated that his batting glove was generally kept in his back pocket and he believed it was the only one he had on.
“The first day I came back, if I wanted to be the center of attention, I wanted to help the team win, but never like this,” Castro said. “This is definitely something I learn by accident, by mistake. But that’s one thing I definitely didn’t want to happen.
As the footage went viral, Castro appeared on Twitter in an unprecedented moment, sending social media into a frenzy.
“I literally can’t believe what the hell this is,” wrote Mike Persak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bay Area radio host Kyle Madsen wrote, “It looks like the sport has had a problem with electronic equipment fraud over the past decade or something that shouldn’t be allowed.”
Castro’s phone could be on Wednesday if MLB investigates and issues a penalty.