A New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins game was briefly stopped back in September after a two-year old girl was struck in the head by a 105-mph line drive.
The game was stopped for several minutes after the foul ball, as the players on the field were clearly shaken as medical personnel attended to the child’s injuries. The girl had to be rushed to the hospital, where she remained for several days after injuries to her head and brain.
In response to the injury, the Yankees vowed to make changes to their stadium, and the team announced those protective changes on Wednesday. The changes will include increased netting along and past each of the dugouts in the stadium.
From the team’s press release:
The New York Yankees today announced details regarding the additional protective netting that will be installed at Yankee Stadium for the start of the 2018 regular season. Increased coverage will include partially retractable netting attached to the roofs of both dugouts and stationary netting extending beyond the far ends of the dugouts toward the foul poles.
During the design and engineering process, the Yankees consulted with the architecture firm Populous along with netting company Promats Athletics.
Netting attached to the roofs of both dugouts will extend to a height of nine feet above each dugout during games. The bottom portions of these nets will be upwardly retractable by up to three feet, allowing fans the opportunity to fully interact with players during batting practice when the protective batting cage is being employed around the home plate area of the field. Prior to the start of the game, the nets will connect to the dugout roof, where they will remain in place throughout the game.
Beyond the dugout, netting will extend to Section 011 on the first-base side and Section 029 on the third-base side. The netting in these locations will rise to eight feet above the playing field (approximately 5.5 feet above the wall surrounding the field of play), and will remain in place from the start of batting practice through the end of the game. These sections of netting may be removed for soccer matches or other events held at Yankee Stadium.
Hopefully the new protections will do more to protect the fans from potentially dangerous foul balls that may get launched into the stands.
As for the little girl that sparked the chain of events: as of last word, she was released from the hospital several days after the accident, but will face a long road to recovery due to the injuries from the foul ball.