For a baseball umpire to eject a coach or player from a game is commonplace. On much rarer occasions do the people playing the background music get the boot.
That explains why when home-plate umpire Mario Seneca yelled "You're done" after Daytona Cubs manager Brian Harper came out of the dugout to argue a close play at first base everyone in the audience believed Seneca was ejecting Harper.
But when the music stopped playing, it hit them that Seneca had actually ejected the Cubs' music intern and University of Illinois student Derek Dye. He had played an organ rendition of "Three Blind Mice" over the PA system as Harper approached Seneca during the top of the eighth inning in his minor league team's game against the Fort Meyers Miracle.
With the PA announcer also ejected, the crowd at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Fla., escalated their cheers, and a member of the Cubs' management stood on a box to announce the batters, according to a post on the Cubs' team Facebook page.
The post joked that Jackie Robinson Ballpark had entered "the twilight zone."
"Put him in the box score," one TV announcer joked.
The ejection did not appear to upset Dye, who took to Twitter shortly afterward. Quite the opposite, in fact.
"If nothing else, I have a new pick-up line..." he tweeted. "'Hey, my name's Derek and I've been ejected from a pro baseball game.' It's bulletproof."
Dye later noted on Twitter that the umpire who booted him Wednesday would be umpiring Thursday's game, too.
Seneca maintained that the ejection was the right call, and said that the president of the Florida State League expressed his support when the two spoke over the phone.
The quality of his new pick-up line notwithstanding, Dye was not the first music man to be ejected from a baseball game, nor even the first to be ejected for playing "Three Blind Mice."
In 1985, minor league organist Wilbur Snapp drew national media attention for getting ejected after protesting a call at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla., with a performance of the famous English nursery rhyme.
Three years later, organist Lambert Bartak joined this exclusive club after an umpire disapproved of his rendition of the "Mickey Mouse" theme song, which Bartak played at an Omaha Royals game in Nebraska after the team's manager joined the Royals catcher in an argument with the umpire at home plate.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brian Harper
- Daytona Cubs
- Jackie Robinson Ballpark