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Child Hit By Foul Ball Suffered Brain Injuries, Attorney Says

A 2-year-old girl who was hit by a foul ball last month at Minute Maid Park suffered significant head injuries, the family attorney said.

By Bryan Kirk, Patch Staff
Jun 27, 2019

HOUSTON — Should Major League Baseball be looking at expanding protective netting from foul pole to foul pole in all major league ballparks? That’s the question many were asking when a 2-year-old girl was injured by a foul ball during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros on May 29.

The 2-year-old girl was sitting on a relatives lap in section 111 during the game when she was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.

It’s estimated that the ball was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour when it struck the child in the head. Almora, who followed the path of the ball, was immediately overcome with grief and was consoled by teammates and umpires.

On Wednesday, family members speaking through their attorney Richard Mithoff revealed the extent of the child’s injuries, which included a fractured skull, subdural bleeding, seizures, and a brain contusion.

A day after the incident, an article in USA Today spotlighted the need for expanding safety netting at baseball parks to help keep fans safe. However, it’s not clear when Major League Baseball intends to study expanding protective netting in the name of fan safety.

Two days after the child was injured MBL Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Washington Post that changes could be difficult in some stadiums during the season.

“Look, I think it is important that we continue to focus on fan safety,” Manfred said. “If that means that the netting has to go beyond the dugouts, so be it.”

There are have been a number of injuries, and even deaths caused by foul balls in major league parks over the last decade.

Before the start of the 2018 season, all 30 MLB clubs expanded their safety netting in their ballparks, but only around home plate, and not foul pole to foul pole as was suggested in 2007 and 2012 by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The family of the little girl has not filed a lawsuit against the Houston Astros, but Mithoff said is hoping this sends a message to the Astros front office.

“I know Jim Crane well enough to know that he is a very responsible owner, and I think Jim will do the right thing,” Mithoff told KTRK.

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