A young girl at the Yankees–Twins game in the Bronx with her grandparents was taken away on a stretcher after getting hit in the face by a foul ball off of the bat of Yankees infielder Todd Frazier on Wednesday:
Something awful just happened in Yankees game. Wicked line drive foul ball hit someone. All players are shaken up watching. TV won't show it
— Sal Capaccio ? (@SalSports) September 20, 2017
According to ESPN, the ball was traveling 105 m.p.h. when it left the bat. The immediate reaction from the players says it all:
Matt Holliday's tears, Frazier's and everyone else's reaction says it all. Thoughts & prayers with the struck fan at today's Yankees game.
— Doug Hall (@DougHall_NY) September 20, 2017
Child gets hit by a foul ball at Yankees game. The players' reactions say it all. pic.twitter.com/YIyaBJq7tT
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) September 20, 2017
Frazier was still visibly upset after the game when talking to reporters. From NJ.com:
Frazier, when asked what it was like to watch the scary moment in real time, had tears in his eyes.
“It was terrible. I was shaken up,” Frazier said–still outwardly upset. “I don’t know what happened. I just hope she’s alright. It’s tough to watch. It’s tough to be a part of, honestly.”
We don’t know much about the girl’s condition, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game that she was “doing OK”:
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was told that the young fan hit by a ball "is doing OK."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 20, 2017
But she might need surgery:
The girl's father said it was "too early to tell" if she would need surgery. https://t.co/sUHIP7t7bG
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) September 21, 2017
Many MLB ballparks have nets that extend down the baselines to protect fans from such an occurrence. The Yankees are not one of those teams. From the New York Times:
Under the prodding of Commissioner Rob Manfred in 2015, all 30 teams agreed to extend the traditional protective netting behind home plate to at least the inner edge of both dugouts. About a third of the teams have extended the netting further, to at least the far end of the dugout, and the Mets added netting even beyond that.
However, the Yankees have yet to expand their nets, although they did issue a statement in August that said they were “seriously exploring” that option.
If Yankee Stadium had netting in place that did stretch to the far end of the third-base dugout, Frazier’s line drive, in all likelihood, would not have reached the stands. As a result, Wednesday’s incident will almost certainly increase pressure on the Yankees to act quickly to make their netting longer.
After the game, Girardi came out in favor of the netting:
Joe Girardi comments on the incident involving a young fan being struck by a foul ball Wednesday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/LTyKpxWfR9
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 20, 2017
Make it happen, Yanks.