Concerns over ballpark safety after foul ball hits girl at Yankee Stadium

A terrible accident unfolded at Yankee Stadium this week when a little girl was hit in the face by a foul ball flying more than 100 miles per hour.

She’s expected to be okay, but the accident is now sparking safety concerns when it comes to how baseball teams are protecting their fans.

12 News looked into whether teams could be liable for these kinds of injuries, and if the Arizona Diamondbacks are planning to make any safety changes.

It was the bottom of the fifth inning between New York and the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium, when Todd Frazier sent a foul ball into the stands, striking a young girl.

She was taken to a local hospital and her father told reporters she was doing alright, but the extent of her injuries haven’t been released.

The accident is now prompting safety questions, like what should teams be responsible for doing to ensure the safety of their fans.

“Teams are not liable generally speaking for foul balls,” said Robert Mann, a Radix Law attorney.

He said when you go to a baseball game, you’re assuming the risk.

“The risk of a ball coming into the stands is open and obvious,” he said.

This is at least the third time this season a fan has been injured at Yankee Stadium. A boy was hit with a piece of bat, a man with another foul ball and now the little girl.

Since the accident happened, there’s been an outcry for more to be done in the name of safety.

“The way that the netting is going to be expanded is going to probably come from public pressure,” Mann said.

You may not realize it, but on the back of your ticket, there’s language saying you’re releasing the team from liability if you were to get hit by a baseball, Mann said.

“The theory is that when you go to a baseball game, you might get hit with a baseball,” he said.

If you go to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, the current netting goes to the front end of each dugout.

A spokesperson for the team released a statement to 12 News saying fan safety is a top priority.

"In 2016, we proactively expanded our netting and will continue to work with Major League Baseball to determine the best plan of action for keeping the safety of our fans as our top priority, while still providing an enjoyable fan experience,” the spokesperson said.

As for the Yankees, the team offers thoughts and prayers for the child, but no word on whether they’ll do more to protect fans.

Back in 1970, a 14-year old boy was killed by a foul ball inside Yankee Stadium. It’s the only known instance where this happened, but this latest accident now has several teams saying they’re making some changes.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment