A young girl at Yankee Stadium in New York City was injured by a 105-miles-per-hour foul ball off the bat of third baseman Todd Frazier during Wednesday’s game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting behind home plate to be extended.
The Yankees said the girl was taken to a hospital for treatment, and New York manager Joe Girardi said he had been told by team security that she was okay. The game was delayed for about four minutes while she was attended to and then carried from the seats in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“I thought of my kids. I have two kids under 3 years old, and I just hope she’s all right,” Frazier said. “I know the dad or whoever it was that was with them was trying their hardest, but the ball’s coming at 120 miles an hour at them and 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.”
Twins players also were distressed, and second baseman Brian Dozier and the Yankees’ Matt Holliday had tears as they said prayers at second base.
“We’ve been trying to get these teams to put nets up,” Dozier said. “Number one, you don’t bring kids down there. And number two, every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it. I don’t care about the . . . view of the fan or what. It’s all about safety.”
Major League Baseball issued recommendations for protective netting or screens in December 2015, encouraging teams to have it in place between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate.
“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,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred on Wednesday night.
A boy was struck on the head by a portion of a broken bat at Yankee Stadium on May 25, and a fan sitting beyond the first-base dugout was hit by a 105-miles-per-hour foul ball July 25.
Girardi recalled a fan being badly injured while he was playing for the Chicago Cubs and said new ballparks “are more intimate” with “fans closer to home plate.”
“I’m for making everything as safe as possible for everyone at the ballpark — players, too,” Girardi said.