A little girl was struck in the face this week by a foul ball at Yankee stadium. The ball reportedly was going 105 mph after it was hit.
This has again sparked debate over baseball safety. Major league ballparks around the country are considering changing where they place nets that catch foul balls.
But what happened this week to the toddler in New York is not uncommon. Around 1,700 people a year it’s estimated are injured from flying balls and bats.
“What I remember most is this crunch sound when it hit me,” remembers Dina Simpson.
In May, Simpson was struck by a foul ball while watching a Lake County Captains game with her husband and three kids.
“I see blood sprayed across the seats, I see my little one with blood on him and I knew it was bad. I knew this was a bad situation,” said Dina’s husband, Scott Simpson.
Simpson needed surgery to rebuild the bones in her face. The 100 mph foul ball destroyed her eye cavity and left her with permanent vision loss and chronic pain.
“I don’t want anybody else to suffer,” she said.
“It was totally preventable. I mean, major league baseball brings in $10 billion a year in revenue.”
“These nets should’ve went up yesterday, a week ago, three years ago these nets should’ve been put up,” said her husband.
In Simpson’s case and so many others at major and minor league stadiums around the country, including Progressive Field in Cleveland, protective netting does not extend down the foul line past the dugouts.
Major League Baseball does not require ballparks extend it any further than home plate. But following several high profile, foul ball injuries, stadiums everywhere are evaluating the cost of extending their nets, versus, the cost of life.
“Knowing what I’ve been through and now that family is going to suffer the way I’ve been? It’s not right. It’s an easy fix,” said Simpson.
Major League Baseball’s Commissioner is strongly encouraging all teams to extend their netting along the foul line.
In a statement to News 5, a representative for the Indians said – “We haven’t had further discussions past the extension we did prior to last season.” Following the 2016 season, the Indians extended their nets past home plate to the dugouts.