Wednesday night’s preliminary round baseball game at the Pan American Games between Cuba and the Dominican Republic degenerated into chaos, with umpires having to stop the game multiple times, and security removing spectators after numerous delays. Fans of both teams littered the field with beer cans and other garbage creating a dangerous situation for the players and umpires.
Chaos at Pan Am Baseball
Cuba took the game, which took over four hours to play, by a final score of 9-5. But it was the incidents off the field that left lasting memories at the Ajax, Ontario Pan Am baseball facility.
It was a strange crowd right from the start, but the raucous party-like atmosphere of the first few innings seemed relatively tame and did not really foreshadow the issues that were to come. Overall, the crowd was more reminiscent of crowds seen at Caribbean World Series games, or World Baseball Classic games held in Puerto Rico, then a game played just outside of Toronto.
However, that joyous atmosphere would degenerate as more and more alcohol was consumed; and the play on the field between the two rivals became increasingly tense. Pan Am officials were forced to stop the game on multiple occasions in the mid-innings as spectators were ejected, and ocaches and managers pleaded with the fans who remained to refrain from causing further delays.
Overall, it was an ugly night in Ajax. Hopefully, this is something that is a one-time event during the games though, as there have not been reports of any issues during other baseball games, or the events of Toronto 2015 or Panamania.