During Wednesday afternoon’s game at Yankee Stadium, a young girl had to be taken to the hospital after being struck by a foul ball.
In the contest between the New York Yankees and the visiting Minnesota Twins, Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier hit a line drive down the third base line that struck a young girl sitting in the stands. Injuries from the line drive, which reportedly left the bat at over 100 mph, resulted in the fan being carried out of Yankee Stadium and transported to a hospital. (Yankees manager Joe Girardi said following the game that he learned from ballpark security that she was “doing OK.”)
The incident has led to more discussion on the amount of protective netting at all major league ballparks, including Yankee Stadium. Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia was among the players who, in the aftermath of Wednesday’s game, called for additional protective netting at ballparks. More from NJ.com:
“I just saw it from the dugout,” Sabathia said. “I couldn’t really tell what happened. But I just feel like we need to get the net.”
“I feel like every ballpark should have that,” he added.
Sabathia has four children. He said he always makes sure they sit behind netting or are out from the path of a potentially dangerous foul ball when they attend games in the Bronx.
“Everybody was shocked. It’s a small kid. A lot of guys have kids. It’s a tough thing to watch,” Sabathia said.
This comes just weeks after the Yankees indicated that they were considering an extension of their netting before next season. The current netting is located behind home plate, extending between the insides of each dugout, but the Yankees issued a statement last month saying that they were “seriously exploring extending the netting prior to the 2018 season to the outside of the Yankees’ dugout and the outside of the visitors’ dugout.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said on Wednesday that discussions about protective netting will continue within the league. More from the AP:
”It remains an ongoing discussion in the industry,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said at Safeco Field, before Wednesday night’s game between Seattle and Texas. ”We gave some guidelines two years ago, and what we have done since then is that we have encouraged the individual clubs to engage in a localized process, look at their own stadiums – every stadium’s different – and to try to make a good decision about how far the netting should go in order to promote fan safety.”
”If you look at what’s happened, there has been a continuous focus forward movement in terms of increased netting in stadiums around the leagues and I expect that process will continue this offseason,” he said.
Though MLB has previously issued guidelines on protective netting, there have been calls over the last few seasons for additional protective netting at many ballparks. A number of teams have followed through by extending their netting. The New York Mets, for instance, have extended the protective netting at Citi Field well beyond the dugouts earlier this year.
ADDENDUM: The Yankees released another statement on Thursday regarding the incident:
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be centered around our young fan and her family. We remain in direct contact with her family and the hospital, and we will provide any and all assistance that may be necessary.”