Mets fans across the city were ecstatic when staff ace Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in team history
One fan in particular, however, went a little overboard with his celebration. Overboard, over the barrier onto the field and over the pitcher's mound.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced on Thursday that Rafael Diaz, 33, of Massapequa, had pleaded guilty to interfering with a sporting event and had been sentenced to a $1,000 fine, a $4,000 civil penalty paid to the Mets and 100 hours community service.
The worst punishment of all, however? He's been banned from Citi Field for life.
Diaz was photographed running onto the field to celebrate with the Mets players after Santana no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals in June. He was arrested after trying to join in the frantic scrum of deliriously happy Santana teammates.
“The defendant’s antics have resulted in a criminal record, the paying of thousands of dollars in fines and civil penalties, and – perhaps the worse punishment for any true Mets fan – precludes him from ever again visiting Citi Field," Brown said. "He has now learned the hard way that the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the New York Mets have zero tolerance for those who interfere with the playing of America’s pastime.”
Word to the wise, Mets fans: if you want to celebrate a Mets win packed into a giant throng of bodies, do it on the 7 train like everybody else.