California Gambler Pleads Guilty to Threatening Major League Baseball Players on Instagram

Benjamin Tucker Patz faces a maximum of five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines

An official Rawlings Major League Baseball sitting on the ground behind a net.
Do not gamble and DM.
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty

After pleading guilty to sending threatening messages on social media to several Major League Baseball players, California man Benjamin Tucker Patz faces a maximum of five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

According to prosecutors, 24-year-old Patz sent the threatening messages while the Tampa Bay Rays were in the midst of losing a 2019 home game to the Chicago White Sox in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In addition to including derogatory terms and racial slurs, Patz’s threats also contained the following messages:

  • “I will sever your neck open you pathetic c*ntbag”
  • “I will enter your home while you sleep”
  • “And sever your neck open”
  • “I will kill your entire family”
  • “Everyone you love will soon cease”
  • “I will cut up your family” and “Dismember the[m] alive.”

Officially, Patz pleaded guilty to transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. No sentencing date has been set.

Prior to threatening members of the Rays and White Sox, Patz had previously sent violent messages to members of the New England Patriots, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, investigators said. In addition to sending messages to athletes, Patz also sent threats to their family members or significant others in some cases.

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