For Pete's Sake

The Cardinals’ RallyCat has gone missing

Cat on field during Royals-Cardinals game appeared to injure worker

A cat that ran on the field during the Royals-Cardinals game on Wednesday night apparently did not want to be taken. This video was originally published on Aug. 9, 2017.
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A cat that ran on the field during the Royals-Cardinals game on Wednesday night apparently did not want to be taken. This video was originally published on Aug. 9, 2017.

Cardinals fans better hope this cat metaphor doesn’t stick. Or, maybe, this could be good news for the Royals.

RallyCat is missing.

That’s the kitten ran on the field and stopped play Wednesday night during the Cardinals’ 8-5 win over the Royals. After the feline was corralled, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina hit a grand slam against Royals reliever Peter Moylan, turning a 5-4 deficit into an 8-5 lead the Cardinals never relinquished.

St. Louis fans — and manager Mike Matheny — were enamored with the cat. Video replay of the kitten led to hearty cheering at the Busch Stadium, and #RallyCat and #RallyKitten was shared on social media.

Well, the Cardinals’ good-luck charm has disappeared.

The team released a statement on Thursday (and called it RallyCat in the headline):

As everyone observed during last night’s game, Lucas Hackmann, a member of our grounds crew, secured the stray cat in the outfield and exited the playing surface at the left field gate and walked up towards the main concourse at Gate 3. He then let the cat down outside of Gate 3 near the Stan Musial statue and went immediately to first aid to attend to his scratch and bite injuries. At that point, as our ushers tried to contain the cat, a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers. As she left the ballpark, our security team caught up with her and asked her some questions. She then abruptly left with the cat. We understand from media accounts that the woman intended to take it home and care for it, but lost track of it in City Garden. We are hopeful someone will find the cat and contact us so we can properly care for it. Our grounds crew is working on developing a stray animal protocol to ensure the safety of both crew and animal should this happen again.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a woman named Korie Harris left her seat at Wednesday’s game and went outside the stadium in the hopes of locating the animal. Harris told the Post-Dispatch she found it and planned to take it home and name it Yadi.

But on the way home, the kitten escaped and, as the Cardinals noted, remains missing. And, yes, this is big news here in St. Louis with the Post-Dispatch and local TV reporting on it.

Post-Dispatch sports columnist Benjamin Hochman talked with Hackmann, who said his hand was bloodied by the cat.

“I don’t know what I was thinking, but when I picked it up, honestly I thought I was just going to have this cute little jog back into the dugout, and I’d have this little kitten in my hands,” Hackmann told Hochman. “I put it in my arms, like, pretty secure to keep it safe. I put my hand like right in front of its mouth, not even thinking anything is going to happen. I take like five steps running and it just latches on to my index finger! That’s when I flipped. But I remembered the crowd going wild — oh, I guess we’re cheering for that! — so I grabbed it, and I don’t have cats, so I didn’t know how to grab it, so I’m just trying not to get bit again. I kind of put it in the position that I could.

“I ended up getting bit 3-4 more times and getting scratched up. But the first one was easily the worst — he went into my finger pretty bad, punctured it pretty bad.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff