CHICAGO — Umpires hastily cleared Wrigley Field Wednesday night when a small drone flew in over the bleachers and landed on the grass in deep left center.
As Cubs catcher Willson Contreras came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and the game tied at 2, the device was spotted over the left-center stands. Before the drone landed, umpires rushed players into the dugouts.
The blinking drone took off, hovered at about 100 feet, then pulled away and vanished past the vintage center-field scoreboard.
“I saw it and it kept getting closer. You never know what the deal is with a drone,” explained Cubs shortstop Javy Baez. “Anything can happen. You don’t know where its coming from or what’s the plan with it.”
According to FAA rules, “flying drones in and around stadiums is prohibited starting one hour before and ending one hour after scheduled game times” for Major League Baseball, the NFL, NCAA Division one football and NASCAR, Indy Car and Champ Series races.
The ban extends three-nautical miles in radius outside of venues hosting such events.
Following a 7-minute delay, Contreras resumed his at-bat and grounded out to end the inning.