It’s not unusual to hear fans who regularly attend Chicago Cubs games to tell each other that you always see something you’ve never before seen if you go to many games. Sunday’s game between the Cubs and Seattle Mariners was no exception.
In the top of the third inning, Jason Heyward was moved from right field to center after Dexter Fowler, who had a home run in the first inning, left the game due to tightness in his side. Fans noticed Heyward swatting at what looked at first like a swarm of gnats (and we’re not talking about the Washington Nationals). Fans realized something else was going on when Heyward tried to jump the fence in center field, and almost made it. Then fans could see the swarm moving toward right field. At the section closest to the Cubs bullpen almost totally emptied out, and then fans on the left field berm ran for cover. It wasn’t gnats, but bees. Perhaps thousands of them.
A similar incident occurred earlier this month when bees delayed a game in Surprise between the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies. That incident caused the game to be delayed approximately 20 minutes while the bees were humanely removed, according to reports. Monday’s game at Sloan Park was delayed about 10 minutes, but the bees were not removed during the game. In fact, at one point when it appeared things had settled down, fans on the left field berm noticed the entire Cubs bullpen walking toward the visitors’ bullpen between innings. The bees had made themselves comfortable on a chair in the Cubs’ bullpen. The players had no choice but to pack up and share the other bullpen with the Mariners.
After the game, it was revealed that Heyward had been stung more than 10 times. Even he tweeted that he was glad he was not allergic to bee stings. The stings did not seem to affect his play. After being stung, he hit a two run home run in his next at bat. The Cubs still lost the game 4-3.
There were plenty of bee jokes going around by the end of the game. Even Danny Rockett, an actor from Chicago, wrote a parody on the incident.
Luckily for fans, the bees were gone, aside from a few strays, for the last two games of Spring Training.