A TODDLER was left bloodied by a 120mph baseball at New York Yankees’ Stadium, leaving players in tears and calling for more safety netting before someone is killed.
The Yankees said the girl was taken to a hospital for treatment after the Wednesday accident and New York manager Joe Girardi revealed that she was OK.
The tot’s dad, who declined to give his name, later told reporters that his daughter was “doing alright”.
When asked if she would require surgery, he responded “it’s too early to tell.”
The game, against Minnesota Twins, was delayed while she was assisted – leaving some players praying, some crying and some fuming about the lack of safety measures.
Todd Frazier, who hit the foul ball, crouched with his hands over his face when the near-catastrophe unfolded.
The Yankees third baseman then bowed his head, walked away from the plate, crouched again and rested his head on the end of his bat.
Frazier said: “I thought of my kids. I have two kids under three years old and I just hope she’s all right.
“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.
“I think the netting should be up.
“I think every stadium should have it, but we’re not at that point yet.
“Hopefully, they took a look at all this and they figure something out.”
Minnesota players also were distressed, second baseman Brian Dozier and Yankees’ Matt Holliday were in tears as they said prayers at second base.
Dozier said: “We’ve been trying to get these teams to put nets up.
“Number one, you don’t bring kids down there. And number two, every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it.
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“I don’t care about the damn view of the fan or what. It’s all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach.”
Dozier hinted that it will take the death of a baseball fan to finally convince teams to install nets, he said: “The last resort that we don’t ever want to have happen.
“I’m not going to say it, but you know what I’m talking about.”
Speaking through a translator, Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar said, “I just saw blood coming out of this little girl.”
Major League Baseball issued recommendations for protecting netting or screens in December 2015, encouraging teams to have it in place between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate.
The Yankees said in an August statement posted on the team’s website that they “are seriously exploring extending the netting prior to the 2018 season.”
A boy was struck on the head by a portion of Chris Carter’s broken bat at Yankee Stadium on May 25, and a fan sitting beyond the first-base dugout was hit by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Judge on July 25. That fan had a bloody bandage around his head as he left his seat.
New York City Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr. introduced legislation in May for protective netting to be extended to the ends of both dugouts, and a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.
Espinal said: “No one should ever go to a baseball game and leave severely injured.
“Nor should any player have to feel the guilt associated with injuring a fan, especially when that injury could have been prevented by safety nets.”
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