Catching a home run ball at a Major League Baseball game is a dream of many fans, but a foul ball turned into a nightmare for one young girl Wednesday afternoon when she caught 105-mph line drive right in the face. At that moment, everything in the stands and on the baseball diamond stopped.
According to NJ.com, the ball hit by New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier slammed right into her mouth. Fans crowding around the child immediately yelled for medical attention.
Everything else in the stadium halted as the concerned crowd and players watched. Frazier dropped to one knee until the little girl was finally taken away by medical personnel.
Yankees third base coach Joe Espada knelt, too, and appeared to be praying as well.
Other players were visibly shaken, with some tearing up, according to Fox News.
The child was conscious and crying by the time she was taken away to the hospital. A photo appeared to show someone holding a cloth to her nose.
On Friday, one of the girl's relatives said she is still in the hospital, according to the New York Post.
“She’s stable. It’s going to be a long process,” the relative said, indicating an extensive recovery time.
The Yankees released a statement, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be centered around our young fan and her family. We remain in direct contact with her family and the hospital, and we will provide any and all assistance that may be necessary.’’
Meanwhile, Frazier himself has been in direct contact with the girl's family. He was able to speak with her father, according to the New York Daily News.
“[Her father] said she’s doing OK. We didn’t really get much into details about it. I didn’t want to cross any boundaries. I know how important family is. But he said she’s doing well, and he’s a really nice guy,” Frazier explained. “He told me not to stress over it. ‘We understand how upset you were, but it’s nobody’s fault. It was just one of those freak accidents.’ And he said the family is just happy that she’s OK. That’s the bottom line. I think they’re going to do more tests in a couple days, and then hopefully she can get out of the hospital.”
After the incident on Wednesday, Yankees went on to win their game 11-3 against the Minnesota Twins. Fox News noted that the MLB recommended in 2015 that teams extend the height of their safety nets in stadiums to better protect fans from foul balls. The Yankees have not yet done it, according to the New York Daily News.
According to the Post, the MLB now said they would "redouble our efforts" to get more teams to extend their netting. Since Wednesday, the Mariners, Padres, and Reds announced they would.
Prayers for the little girl’s recovery! In other news, a third Hollywood couple has announced their relationship is over after 15 years of marriage.