Child hit by ball was third fan injury this season at Yankee Stadium

Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

SEPT. 22ND UPDATE
The child who suffered injuries when she was hit in the head by a foul ball on Wednesday (Sept. 20) at Yankee Stadium remains in New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Children’s Hospital for the second day.

According to the New York Post a relative said today that the girl’s recovery could take much longer. “She’s stable. It’s going to be a long process,” he said.

The paper also reported that Yankees’ third baseman Todd Frazier, who hit the ill-fated foul ball, had a five-minute conversation today with the young girl’s dad who told him that “she is doing good.”

Frazier promised the father that he would call every day and “he replied that would be good.’’

The toddler’s identity cannot be revealed under federal confidentiality laws.

Meanwhile, the incident seems to have drawn almost as much national coverage as the pennant races.

An updated statistic for Yankee Stadium is bringing calls of “enough is enough.” Let’s say it another way. Three is three too many.

It reflects the dangers that fans are exposed to by not having sufficient or proper netting to protect them from the hazards of watching baseball.

The tragic or near-tragic incidents at the Stadium this season were updated yesterday (Sept. 20th). They follow here in chronological order.

May 25:
A boy was struck on the head by a portion of the Yankees’ Chris Carter’s broken bat.

July 25:

A foul ball by Aaron Judge, better known for his “All Rise” home runs, found a spectator near the first-base dugout. The ball was estimated to be going at 105 mph when it struck the fan’s head. He was seen leaving with a bloody bandage around his head.

Yesterday’s victim was a child

The ball hit yesterday by Todd Frazier was also clocked at 105 mph when the child was injured. Players on both teams were visibly upset. Minnesota infielder Eduardo Escobar said (through an interpreter) ‘‘I just saw blood coming out of this little girl.’’ He added that kids should not be allowed to sit in seats that are not protected.

The game was delayed about four minutes in the fifth inning for administering first aid. Then the child was taken to New York-Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital.

She was sitting with her grandfather in lower-level seats just past the third base side of the dugout. Unfortunately, the netting only extends between the dugout and home plate.

Frazier, the Yankees third baseman, put his hands over his face and bowed his head. He later said ‘‘I thought of my kids. I have two kids under three years old and I just hope she’s all right . . . the ball’s hooking. So it’s like if you’ve never seen a ball like that, which most people in the world haven’t, it’s very tough.’’

New York’s Matt Holiday and Minnesota’s second baseman Brian Dozier appeared to be praying.

Dozier said that “every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it. I don’t care about the damn view of the fan or what. It’s all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach.’’

Are they waiting for a fatality to happen?

A better solution than keeping kids away from those seats, as suggested by Escobar, is to protect the area with netting.
Dozier alluded to the worst type of injury. “I’m not going to say it, but you know what I’m talking about.’’

These types of things have been going on in ballparks since the game has been played, and they are nearly always followed by largely unheeded cries for more safety measures. Major League Baseball has recommended, but not required, that teams install more protective netting or screens. Meanwhile, the ball clubs hide behind the waiver on the backs of the tickets that state they are not responsible for injuries “incidental to the game of baseball.”

How many fans actually read or understand the small type on the backs of their tickets?

A ray of hope

A New York City Councilman, Rafael L. Espinal Jr., pushing for legislation, said in a statement that ‘‘No one should ever go to a baseball game and leave severely injured. Nor should any player have to feel the guilt associated with injuring a fan, especially when that injury could have been prevented by safety nets.’’

Although the Mets extended their netting beyond the dugouts this summer, the Yankees only went as far as to post on their website that they ‘‘are seriously exploring extending the netting prior to the 2018 season.’’

It would not be soon enough for the little girl who was taken to Yankee Stadium yesterday, and ended up in the hospital after she was hit by a batted ball.

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