BOSTON — A woman bleeding from the head was carried out of the Fenway Park stands after being hit by a broken bat Friday night, and police said her injuries were life threatening.
Boston police spokesman David Estrada said all or part of the bat hit her during the game between the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.
The fan was carried out of the ballpark on a stretcher after the top of the second inning. She was hit when Oakland’s Brett Lawrie broke his bat on a groundout to second base for the second out of the inning.
After the third out, the game was delayed while the fan was tended to in the stands between home plate and the third base dugout. She was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
“You try to keep her in your thoughts and, hopefully, everything’s all right and try to get back to the task at hand,” said Lawrie, when asked how he was able to refocus after what happened. “Hopefully everything’s OK and she’s doing all right.
“I’ve seen bats fly out of guys’ hands in(to) the stands and everyone’s OK, but when one breaks like that, has jagged edges on it, anything can happen.”
Concerned about a rash of flying broken bats and the danger they posed, Major League Baseball studied the issue in 2008 and made a series of changes to bat regulations for the following season.
Multi-piece bat failures are down approximately 50 percent since the start of the 2009 season, MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said.
Though dozens of baseball fans are struck by foul balls each season, there has been only one fatality, according to baseball researchers — a 14-year-old boy killed by a foul line drive off the bat of Manny Mota at Dodger Stadium in 1970.
The National Hockey League ordered safety netting installed at each end of NHL arenas after 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was killed by a deflected puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets game in 2002. She died two days later, and her parents eventually settled with the team for $1.2 million, the league and the arena management.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and concern, and certainly our prayers, go out to the woman that was struck with the bat, her and her family,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “A scary moment, certainly.
“All you can think about is a family, they come to a ballgame to hopefully get three hours of enjoyment, and unfortunately with how close our stands are to the field of action, an accident like this tonight is certainly disturbing.”