MLB Issues Statement on Netting After Young Girl Is Hospitalized by Foul Ball


Major League Baseball issued a statement about the little girl who was struck by a foul ball Wednesday while attending an Astros game against the Chicago Cubs in Houston.

The foul ball came off the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. in the fourth inning. The line drive down the third base line hit the girl, who was in the field-level stands.

“The events at last night’s game were extremely upsetting. We send our best wishes to the child and family involved,” MLB said in a statement, via USA Today baseball reporter Bob Nightengale.

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“Clubs have significantly expanded netting and their inventory of protected seats in recent years,” MLB said. “With last night’s event in mind, we will continue our efforts on this important issue.”

The 4-year-old girl was taken to the hospital and was recovering Thursday, KHOU-TV reported.

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Astros officials wouldn’t say anything more on her condition, saying her family has asked for privacy.

Before the start of the 2018 season, MLB announced that all 30 teams would have protective netting to at least the ends of both dugouts.

Minute Maid Park, where the Astros play, has protective netting to end of the visiting team’s dugout along the third base line. The girl was sitting in the third or fourth row, approximately 10 feet past the netting, Yahoo Sports reported.

This incident, and others, has revived the debate on expanding the protective netting. Last August, a fan died as a result of getting hit with a foul ball at Dodger Stadium.

Almora, who was torn about by the incident, believes it should be extended.

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”Right now, obviously, I want to put a net around the whole stadium,” Almora said, according to Yahoo.

The New York Yankees are one of the teams that extended the netting beyond the dugouts into the outfield. A little girl had been seriously injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium in 2017.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said all teams should consider something similar.

”It’s something that going back to my playing days, a handful of times a year you have that scary moment,” Boone said, according to Yahoo. ”When my wife and I started having kids and the first time they were in a park, one of my first things was make sure you’re sitting in a place where, A, you’re paying attention or B, you’re protected.

“So, yeah, it can be a scary situation, and I think it’s important that we do all we can to protect our fans.”

“When Xavier comes to games, he watches from inside,” Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price told USA Today, referring to his 2-year-old son. “Baseballs are coming off bats harder than ever.

“Just like always, it takes something like this for MLB to take action. It’s sad.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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