On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, the Chicago Cubs were playing a night game against the Houston Astros from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. During the top of the fourth inning, 25-year-old, Albert Almora Jr., came to the plate in a close match with the Cubs up 2-0.
Chicago’s speedy center fielder fouled off a pitch that traveled down the third base line and into the stands at a blistering speed. The line drive foul ball ended up striking a 4-year-old girl who was immediately carried up the stairs of the stadium by the man she was attending the game with. The young fan, although visibly shaken, appeared to be conscious as she was rushed to a local hospital.
Injuries Suffered by the Young Girl:
“The 2-year-old girl struck by a foul ball at Minute Maid Park on May 29 suffered a skull fracture and had a seizure,” a spokesperson for the family said in a released statement. “The girl also had subdural bleeding, brain contusions, brain edema and an abnormal EEG and is on medication to prevent further seizures.”
Action Being Taken by MLB Franchises:
Due to this situation and many other incidents similar to this many baseball clubs across the major leagues are springing into action immediately to prevent further fan injuries. The Washington Nationals, the Chicago White Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have already promised to construct protective netting from foul pole to foul pole over the MLB All Star break coming up this July. The Chicago Cubs have also expressed interest in making the same accommodations at Wrigley Field. The 2019 Major League Baseball All Star break will be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio from Friday, July 5th to Tuesday, July 9th.
“The Astros’ risk management representative reached out to the family, and now that the family is represented by counsel, I wanted to let the other side know that I am involved so that they can get in touch with me,” Mithoff stated to the Houston Chronicle. “According the release, the child was hospitalized for several days, and her progress will be reassessed in July. The family has requested privacy beyond that information,” says Mithoff. “The release Wednesday was the first time the extent of her injuries had been revealed.”
“I am glad the Washington Nationals have decided to lead the charge on this issue,” explained Sean Doolittle who pitches for the Washington Nationals. “Players want fans to be able to safely enjoy the game without fearing for their safety.”