Beekeeper Saves the Day in Arizona

If you had money on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, there are two men you have to thank for your winning wager. Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brandon Hughes, and Blue Sky Pest Control’s Matt Hilton.

The Diamondbacks were slight underdogs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But after a two-hour delay to begin the game and after nine innings of baseball, Arizona was the winner.

As for that delay, this was the statement released by the Diamondbacks as fans waited for the first pitch:

“The scheduled game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers has been temporarily delayed due to the presence of a beehive in the netting directly behind home plate at Chase Field. We anticipate that the game will resume shortly following the successful removal of the beehive by a professional beekeeper. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.”

The Star of the Night

As you can probably guess, the Diamondbacks do not employ a beekeeper. They had to make a call, a professional beekeeper had to be found, and then he had to get to the stadium. And when Matt Hilton arrived, in full beekeeper regalia, the cheers were loud.

Hilton played to the crowd, then went about the work of stunning the bees, then collecting them. Chase Field stadium operations played along, posting “Please Bee Patient” on the scoreboard while playing Let it Be by the Beatles.

Then, for the first time in Arizona Diamondbacks history, a beekeeper who had no plans of being at a baseball game earlier in the night was asked to throw out the first pitch. He did it while still donning his beekeeper outfit, and the crowd naturally went wild.

“I thought I was just going to do my thing and cruise out. But it was because of the thousands of people cheering for you,” Hilton said. “It was a little nerve-racking, I’m not going to lie – a lot of pressure to get this game going.”

No bees were harmed during their removal.

Pitching Change

Arizona’s scheduled starter for the night was Jordan Montgomery. But he didn’t learn about the bees until after he was well into his warm up routine. Because of the long delay between his warm-up throws and the first pitch of the game, he was a late scratch. Taking the mound for the Diamondbacks as a “Plan Bee” was reliever Brandon Hughes, who was called up from Triple-A earlier in the day.

All bets that involved scheduled starter Montgomery were declared null. But because the Diamondbacks still won the game, the last-minute change in pitchers did not result in any calls to have game bets returned.

Christian Walker won the game with a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, and he was “swarmed” by his teammates when he crossed home plate.

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