A toddler was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. Television cameras refused to show the little girl, who was attended to after a ball off the bat of Todd Frazier apparently struck her in the mouth. One did not need to see the girl to know how serious this incident was. All you had to do was see the reaction of the players.
When the Yankee runner on second (Matt Holliday) and the Twins second basemen (Brian Dozier) were standing side by side in tears… well you knew it was serious. Frazier was distraught at home plate, alternately standing and squatting, his helmet in hand and concern etched all over his face. Many other players were visibly upset as well.
The little girl who was at the game with her grandparents was taken from the stands to a care center in the stadium. She was then transported to a hospital and so far there has been no word on her condition.
It’s certainly not the first time a fan has been hit by a ball that was rocketed into the stands. Fans also must watch out for flying bats, some broken with jagged edges, others intact but hurling at someone with enough speed to do damage.
So my question is this. What is baseball waiting on? It is time to extend the protective netting down the lines to keep spectators safe. It has been done in other places such as Japan, but we seem to be waiting for the worst to happen.
My daughter works for a minor league team and a couple of years ago a woman was hit in the face with a foul ball. While her husband helped her to an aid station, my daughter took care of their two small children. It was a traumatic experience for my daughter and I can’t imagine what the family was going through.
Her minor league team has extended the netting in their park, but it is each club’s choice. That needs to change.
The view from my seat suggests that baseball has to mandate the change – from the big leagues to the minors – it’s time to prevent what is bound to happen.