Scary Day at Yankee Stadium Raises Questions About CNY Baseball
Horrifying scene recently at Yankee Stadium: a 105-mile per hour line drive off the bat off New York's Todd Frazier struck a young girl and knocked her out cold. She was sitting along the third base line and had virtually no time to react. She was rushed to a hospital and thankfully is doing okay.
Chris Granozio told us he was working the game as the DJ for the public address system and "had to take out all music when it was evident a child got hurt."
Should young children be allowed such close access to the action at baseball games?
When will all Major League stadiums make netting mandatory, and not just behind home plate, but extended along both baselines?
Are there enough safeguards? And...
Could it happen in Central New York? At NBT Bank Stadium, home of the Syracuse Chiefs? During a game at Murnane Field? College games? High school games?
Chuck McRorie said his college "roommate had his nose broken at a Utica Blue Sox game."
Paul Bisaccia told us he once saved his one-year-old niece from getting struck at a game with a bare-handed grab right in front of her face.
Syracuse comedian Nick Marra said he was at the old Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh watching the Pirates play years ago and saw a fan get struck by TWO foul balls in the same game. "The odds have to be a zillion to one," he said.
After the incident at Yankee Stadium, the Cincinnati Reds reacted immediately, announcing they will install netting to cover the sidelines and protect fans during this offseason. Currently, 10 of 30 Major League teams have the extra netting.
And it doesn't really detract from the fan experience. Doug Falso said he "had great seats behind home plate in Detroit this summer...looked through the netting the entire game" and it wasn't "a distraction."
Brian Banks, Joel Graham and others directed us to a great feature on this subject hosted by Bryant Gumbel for HBO Real Sports:
And here's a fascinating follow-up piece by HBO on how they handle the issue in Japanese pro baseball:
Until it's standard at ALL ballparks, a portion of the onus falls on you.
Don't lean over railings to catch foul balls, because you might fall. Pay attention to the action on the field. And make sure the kids are doing the same. And, maybe, put away the cell phones.