Unsuspecting umpire attacked by fan in Chicago

CHICAGO -- A fan came out of the stands during Tuesday night's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox and attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz. Security and players came to Diaz's aid and the fan was quickly taken away.

Immediately after Carlos Lee flied out to right to end the eighth inning, the fan ran on the field and tried to tackle Diaz, wrapping his arms around the umpire's legs.

It was the first appearance by the Royals in Chicago since coach Tom Gamboa was pummeled by a father and son, who came out of the stands last September.

Three times earlier Tuesday night, the game was delayed when fans ran onto the field before being tackled by security guards.

U.S. Cellular Field, formerly Comiskey Park, will host the All-Star Game on July 15.

Gamboa tried to downplay his return to the field when interviewed before the game.

"I haven't given it a thought really," he said. "Lightning doesn't strike twice."

Gamboa, 55, is now Kansas City's bullpen coach. He has tried to put the attack behind him, but one physical problem lingers from the beating.

"I have a minor hearing loss in my right ear. I was tested three times and assured it would be nothing degenerative," Gamboa said.

The boy, 15 at the time, was sentenced to five years of probation and also ordered to undergo mandatory counseling and perform 30 hours of community service.

Gamboa appeared at a sentencing hearing and suggested the boy receive probation and community service because he had already been held for a month in juvenile detention after the attack. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed with that suggestion.

The boy was arrested along with his father, William Ligue Jr., who initially pleaded innocent to charges of aggravated battery and mob action. The case is still pending.

"The most disturbing thing I've seen in baseball recently," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said Tuesday.

Gamboa, a former coach with the Chicago Cubs, reiterated that sports fans in the city shouldn't be judged by what happened to him.

"It's a great sports city and no one incident or what two guys did would tarnish that," Gamboa said.

"It's over and done with as far as I'm concerned."