A bee expert with a bucket and broom became the most valuable player in Sunday afternoon's game at Angel Stadium when a swarm of bees in the outfield scattered fans and players, leading to a nearly half-hour game delay.
John Poto identified himself as a beekeeper when he came out of the stands to make what proved to be a game-saving catch. Fans fled the outfield stands, others pulled blankets over their heads, and Mariners players were pulled from the field as Poto used a broom, orange Gatorade bucket filled with honey and repellent to clear the swarm.
"That was weird," said Angels starter C.J. Wilson. "There was a softball-sized bee colony on the ground. It was amazing. I've never seen that before.
"That dude just came out of the stands, 'It's OK, I'm a beekeeper.' It was like a Seinfeld episode."
The swarm arrived in the bottom of the third inning, circling the stadium and sending Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez from the mound to take cover. Hernandez's flight brought jeers from the nearby Angels dugout.
"When they called timeout and I turned around, I saw them and just started running to the dugout, the (Angels) dugout," Hernandez said. "I just saw them in right field and I said, 'No, I'm not staying here.'"
Umpires stopped the game as the bees gathered in the outfield. The swarm congregated near the center-field fence, and Poto -- he works for raw honey business Honey Pacifica, based in Long Beach -- came to the rescue.
The game was delayed again in the top of the fourth inning because of a smaller swarm.
Seattle went on the win, 3-2.
More Southern California Stories: