Friday, August 9, 2013

Harper Falls At Yankees Stadium


On August 9, 2005, in the eighth inning of a White Sox-Yankees game, 18 year-old Scott Harper got his fifteen minutes fame. 

Much like Patrick Lawler, a man who received notoriety because he didn't know he had a nail in his skull for four months, Scott Harper will not be remembered as "Scott Harper." He'll be remembered as the guy who dove 40 feet off the upper deck of Yankee Stadium and lived to tell about it.

Harper's fall ended when he crashed into the safety net behind home plate. The local YES telecast rattled as the net vibrated the camera line. 

The game temporarily came to a stop; everyone in the stadium watched as the kid, who was visibly shaken up, began to climb up the net towards the middle section of Yankee Stadium. 

Harper received a thunderous ovation from the crowd when he reached the seating area and was forcefully pulled away by security.

Harper left the stadium in a stretcher and was taken to a local hospital. When he was released the next day, Scott got a knock on his door from the police. 

Harper pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and received three years of probation. Even worse, he was permanently banned from all future New York Yankee home games.

Scott told the police that he wanted to test if the net could hold him and that he was pretty drunk at the time. "It was just like a stupid dare," said one of the friends who went to the game with him. 

ESPN decided not to air the clip of him falling when they learned it was intentional. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner called the stunt, "the only exciting thing that happened today," noting that the Yankees lost the game, 2-1.

Harper's plunge was not the first time a fan had jumped onto the safety net; Stephen Laurenzi had pulled the same stunt back in 2000.

Three weeks after his dive, Harper was pulled over for speeding in a residential area. 

He was again arrested, this time for the possession of marijuana. That was the last of his fifteen minutes of fame.