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Beekeeper Matt Hilton revels in ‘surreal’ experience after his MLB heroics, gets a trading card deal

May 2, 2024, 5:44 AM

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 30: Beekeeper Matt Hilton removes a colony of bees that formed on the net ...

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 30: Beekeeper Matt Hilton removes a colony of bees that formed on the net behind home plate during a delay to the MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 30, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX (CNN) — Beekeeper Matt Hilton said the last few days have been “crazy” after becoming the latest star of Major League Baseball.

Hilton became the hero on Tuesday after he was called out to deal with a swarm of bees that was delaying the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game.

Just five minutes before the game was about to start, the swarm took up residency in the netting behind home plate, but Hilton arrived to rescue the day, much to the delight of the fans waiting inside Arizona’s Chase Field.

“It was crazy. I knew it was going to be an interesting experience. I mean, I’m going to Chase Field and the Diamondbacks and Dodgers playing,” Hilton told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell.

“So I knew it was going to be a cool experience, but it wasn’t until I went out on the field in the buggy and the fans were just going crazy that it kind of hit me just how big of a deal this was and it just turned into a really neat experience for me.”

Hilton walked onto the pitch to chants of “MVP” and the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” while he got to work, spraying and removing the bees using a vacuum. The bees were scheduled to be released afterward, according to the league.

Hilton’s efforts were later rewarded with a chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Despite being disappointed with his performance from the mound, the bee wrangler certainly made the most of his time in the spotlight, hyping up the thousands of fans.

“It’s been very surreal, I did not expect any of this craziness to happen, I thought I was just gonna go do my job and be on my way home, but once I took care of the bees, it just spiraled way out of control of anything I thought was going to happen,” he added.

“When I got on the field, I saw just how loud the crowd was when I did a couple fist bumps and I was like ‘Ay, I’m gonna get a couple more fist bumps and play to this a little bit,’ and it kind of helped loosen my nerves a little bit too, so it definitely helped me out and I just decided to have fun with it.”

Hilton, of Blue Sky Pest Control, had gotten the call while at his son’s tee-ball game and said his six-year-old was a little “bummed” that his dad had to leave.

The blow was lessened somewhat after he was able to watch his dad throw out the first pitch and be interviewed on the touchline.

“I think he’s forgiven me since,” Hilton added.

After holding his nerve and successfully removing the bees, the game went to extra innings before the Diamondbacks won it in the 10th by a score of 4-3.

Limited edition trading card

The spotlight, though, still remains on Hilton after the beekeeper’s efforts were further rewarded with his very own Topps trading card.

“We’ve signed a deal with Matt Hilton (the Bee Specialist from last night’s game) and we’re making autograph cards from his all-time great performance,” Topps announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Arizona Diamondbacks responded with a post, saying: “This might truly be the peak of society as we know it.”

The team is also offering “buy-one-get-one” tickets for this weekend’s games against the San Diego Padres, calling them “free-bee” tickets in honor of Hilton’s heroics.

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Beekeeper Matt Hilton revels in ‘surreal’ experience after his MLB heroics, gets a trading card deal