In the top of the fourth, a ridiculously close lightning strike and thunderous thunderclap sent players sprinting to the dugout with intense fear in their hearts. So, so refreshing to see a human side of these multi-millionaires.
“I thought I was dead,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington.
“I've never heard anything like that,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “It scared everybody. I think you saw that. It was loud. It was the loudest I've ever heard. So right in the middle of it, that's pretty amazing stuff.”
Mike Napoli, despite wearing a full set of catcher's gear, was one of the quickest Rangers off the field. Upon hearing the thunder, he sprinted into the dugout before any of his teammates.
“I don't remember what I was doing but it freaked me out,” Napoli said. “I went for cover but I don't think that helped anything. It was so quick and, you see the flash, I don't know. I just started running, for some odd reason, to the dugout. We watched the video about 40 times, just watching everybody on the field. Every time we watched it, we had a good laugh.”
Possibly the most memorable reaction to the thunder and lightning was Josh Willingham's. He drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and, after he heard the thunder, he immediately went down on his hands and knees. Willingham's first-base coach, Jerry White, didn't go down on all fours, but he took a few steps towards the Rangers' dugout before realizing he was going the wrong way.
“I've never heard anything that loud in my life,” said Michael Young, who stood between Willingham and White when the lightning struck. “Willingham hit the deck. He was making a dirt angel on the floor. Jerry White, their first-base coach, was going bananas behind the umpire. It was interesting to see everybody's reaction. I saw the lightning, but the thunder was instant. It was a split second right after that. Apart from the world ending, I knew it was thunder. It was nuts.”
If I had been playing, I would have had the exact same reaction – only with a lot more high-pitched shrieking.
[H/T: The Big Lead]