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Umpire attacked by fan

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2003

CHICAGO (AP) A fan came out of the stands during Tuesday night's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox and attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz. Security and players came to Diaz's aid and the fan was quickly taken away.

Immediately after Carlos Lee flied out to right to end the eighth inning, the fan ran on the field and tried to tackle Diaz, wrapping his arms around the umpire's legs.

It was the first appearance by the Royals in Chicago since coach Tom Gamboa was pummeled by a father and son who came out of the stands last September.

Three times earlier Tuesday night, the game was delayed when fans ran onto the field before being tackled by security guards.

U.S. Cellular Field, formerly Comiskey Park, will host the All-Star game July 15.

Before the game, Gamboa tried to downplay his return to the field where he was attacked seven months ago.

I haven't given it a thought really,'' Gamboa said. Lightning doesn't strike twice.''

Gamboa, who was the Royals' first base coach when he was attacked last Sept. 19, is now Kansas City's bullpen coach. Gamboa, 55, still has a minor hearing loss in his right ear following the beating.

The boy, 15 at the time, was sentenced to five years of probation and also ordered to undergo mandatory counseling and perform 30 hours of community service.

The boy was arrested along with his father, William Ligue Jr., who initially pleaded innocent to charges of aggravated battery and mob action. The case is still pending.

Gamboa, a former coach with the Cubs, said Chicago sports fans shouldn't be judged by what happened to him.

It's a great sports city and no one incident or what two guys did would tarnish that,'' Gamboa said.

It's over and done with as far as I'm concerned.''



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