Young Astros fan takes 'stealing a base' literally

Oliver Richard is six years old. He's a lifelong Astros fan who lives in Mont Belview.

A baseball player himself, he was invited to an Astros-Mets game this week at Minute Maid Part to "steal a base."

Photo: Getty Images

The classic promotion involves having a fan sprint to pick up a dummy base and retrieve it within a certain amount of time to win a prize.

So Tuesday, Oliver and his mother, Kristen Crocker, waited just off right field for his scheduled attempt at the end of the sixth inning. Then, the public-address announcer introduced Oliver and started counting down: 3 … 2 … 1 … GO! Oliver immediately jetted directly to second base where he tried unsuccessfully for 20 seconds to pry the real base out of the dirt. His favorite player, José Altuve, and infielder Mauricio Dubón tried lending a hand. No luck.

“We thought it would be funny to give him the bag, but it wasn’t going anywhere,” Dubón said.

Eventually, Alex Bregman sauntered over from third base and informed Oliver the base he was supposed to “steal” was sitting on the right-field warning track.

“They never told me it was a fake base,” Oliver explained, “so I thought they meant to go onto the actual field, steal a base and run back.”

The crowd cheered as Oliver sprinted across the outfield, picked up the fake base, broke through the blue ribbon held by two members of the Shooting Stars, and high-fived fans in the front row.

“It felt like I was in a big Astros game,” Oliver said.

Oliver then carried the base back to his seat with his mother, and within just minutes, video of Oliver’s run blew up on social media. His parents’ phones were flooded with messages.

Oliver just sat there with his base and a huge smile.

After the game, Dubón autographed the base for him.

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