I attended a Mariner’s game recently when a fan jumped the railing and ran onto the field to catch a foul ball. He was immediately tackled by security and escorted from the field. While security subdued the fan, the announcer gave the stern warning that such action was punishable with a 6 month jail time and a fine of $5,000. Whichever ballpark you attend, the pre-game announcements include a caution about fan interference and staying off the field. I wondered if there was a uniform law on penalties for fan interference and jumping on the field.
Back in the library, I consulted The Little White Book of Baseball Law, published by the American Bar Association. While my specific question is not addressed there, it does cover many aspects of baseball law, cases decided in the courts, Major League Baseball rule 3.16 that states “[s]pectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field, and touches a live ball.”
The Little White Book covers a variety of legal topics. It includes scalping, antitrust law, service marks, right of publicity, liability for spectator injuries, and public entity tort liability. This is a great little book and can lead to great post-game conversations.