August 27, 2015
By Daniel Otis
You’ve seen the images: a bloodied fan being wheeled out of a stadium on a stretcher while spectators watch aghast. An estimated 1,750 baseball fans are injured in the stands every year. A look at some of the more recent incidents:
Fenway Park: June 5, 2015
When the Oakland Athletics’ Brett Lawrie broke a bat in the second inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox, a hunk of wood went hurtling into the stands, striking Tonya Carpenter directly in the head. The bloodied woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. After undergoing brain surgery, she is still recovering.
Citi Field: Aug. 29, 2011
In the ninth inning of a game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins, Marlins third baseman Greg Dobbs hit a foul straight into the stands above the Mets’ dugout, striking 12-year-old Eliezer Shalomoff in the face, fracturing his nose and sinuses. Shalomoff endured repeated hospital visits and severe headaches after the accident.
Turner Field: Sept. 14, 2010
Longtime Atlanta Braves fan Reza Ezell was watching her favourite team against the Washington Nationals when a foul ball came barreling towards where she was sitting, just above third base. The ball landed squarely in Ezell’s face. Ezell, who remains a diehard fan, has endured numerous surgeries and has lost vision in her right eye because of the incident.
Turner Field: May 30, 2010
When Atlanta Braves outfielder Melky Cabrera hit a foul line-drive in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the ball crashed into the head of a 6-year-old girl sitting behind the third base dugout, fracturing her skull in 30 places and causing traumatic brain injury. Her family has since sued the Braves for not installing protective netting at the stadium.
Dodger Stadium: May 16, 1970
When the Los Angeles Dodgers faced off against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers’ Manny Mota hit a line drive that struck 14-year-old Alan Fish in the left temple. Fish died four days later, making the teenager the only spectator to die from being hit by a foul ball in MLB’s long history.