TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) — Little League baseball players encountered a weather phenomenon during a game in Tomball. A harmless dust devil put the game on a short hold as it spun through the stands and onto the field.
Mike Diehl submitted the video that captured the moment to Eyewitness News. In the video, the small gust of wind ripped through the crowd, as parents held onto their belongings.
Diehl told ABC13 the whirlwind happened on Sept. 16, during a Little League game between the Phillies and the Nationals.
“It was a hot and muggy day, so when a breeze whipped through, it was a welcome feeling, but then all of a sudden, the wind got stronger and stronger,” Diehl said.
The Tomball Little League players can be heard giggling and shouting as the game comes to a momentary pause.
One of the coaches stands still as the whirlwind sweeps his baseball cap right off his head.
Before the winds captured and swirled up the dirt from the field, the nets on the fence gates can be seen waving like a flag as the crowd’s chatter grows.
“I looked over to my wife and daughter in the bleachers, and an umbrella they were using for shade had buckled over itself. I started feeling the dirt hit my skin and turned my face away and covered it to keep the dirt out of my eyes,” Diehl said. “The dirt whipping around felt like pins and needles on my skin!”
According to ABC13 Meteorologist Kevin Roth, small whirlwinds happen during calm weather on hot days as air at the surface heats up and rapidly rises.
Thankfully, they are not nearly as powerful a tornado, although they might look like tiny ones.
Wind can have a major impact on the outcome of a baseball game, and both the speed and the orientation of that wind matter.
Roth noted that wind blowing from home plate to center field will help the ball carry further, creating more home runs. Alternatively, a strong wind blowing toward home plate can turn a would-be home run into an out.
The tiny force of wind didn’t stop these players from playing out the rest of their game, and the parents got a good laugh, too!
“Not even a dirt devil could stop us! Proud of our boys to pull out the W that day,” Diehl said of the Phillies.
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