Fans at a college baseball game last Friday headed to the Baum-Walker Stadium for a match between Arkansas and Vanderbilt were hoping to see a spectacle—but they definitely didn’t expect to see this. During the middle of the seventh inning, a man used his bare hands to capture an attendee that failed to pay for a ticket—a rogue raccoon. Grant Harmon of Fayetteville was the unlikely hero. He said he heard the raccoon making some commotion in the lower levels of the stadium before he saw it.
“The next thing that I knew, [the raccoon] was at my feet and the rest just kind of wrote itself from there,” Harmon told CBS 5 News. “My redneck instinct just kind of kicked in.”
— Katie Woolard (@KatieWoolard) May 14, 2022
Harmon picked the raccoon up by the scruff of its neck and held it up for the crowd like it was a home run ball he’d caught. The only difference was that members of the crowd weren’t just cheering, some of them were screaming. The raccoon thrashed around for a bit before a security guard escorted Harmon out of the stadium with his quarry. The raccoon managed to chomp down on Harmon as carried the critter out. Though Harmon is a life-long outdoorsman, he’d never experienced anything like this before.
The story of the Rally Raccoon, as told and filmed by the guy who caught it — @GrantHarmon_
— Arkansas Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) May 14, 2022
“That was the first time I handled a live raccoon,” he told KATV. My family and friends, we’ve gone raccoon hunting plenty of times. But any raccoon I’ve handled prior to that has been deceased. [This was] definitely a first in that sense.”
— Grant Harmon (@GrantHarmon_) May 14, 2022
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Harmon released the raccoon in the parking lot. Later that night, he went to a local hospital to receive a rabies shot, which he says hurt more than the bite itself. Unfortunately for him, he’ll receive several more rabies inoculations in the coming weeks. In the meantime, he’s enjoying his moment of fame. The Razorbacks baseball team did not put forth the same level of heroics. The 24th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores won 9 to 6.