NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A young girl was carried out of the Yankee Stadium stands Wednesday after being struck by a line-drive foul ball.
The incident happened in the bottom of the fifth inning when Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier sent a hard-hit foul ball into the seats near the third-base dugout. A fan sitting next to the child immediately signaled for medical attention.
Yankees fan Samantha Watts was in the crowd and watched as people rushed in to tend to the little girl with curly hair.
“We were just really concerned for the child,” she told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
She saw players on both teams visibly shaken, with Frazier dropped to one knee, hanging his head.
Twins players also were distressed, and second baseman Brian Dozier and the Yankees’ Matt Holliday had tears as they said prayers at second base.
Play resumed after the fan was carried out. The Yankees went on to win 11-3.
The Yankees released a statement saying: “The child who was struck with a batted ball today was given first aid at the ballpark and is receiving medical attention at an area hospital. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, prevents the team from giving more information. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game he was told the girl was “OK.”
“They told us it hit a little girl in the mouth,” he told reporters. “We got a report that she’s OK. Obviously, you could see the concern on everyone in the ballpark — the players, the umpires, the fans. And it’s disturbing when it happens, and it’s hard for a player when it happens.”
Authorities say the girl was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries.
This is at least the third scare involving a foul ball at Yankee Stadium this season. In July, a fan was hit in the head by an Aaron Judge foul ball. In May, a young boy was left bloodied after being struck by a broken bat at Yankee Stadium.
“I believe a family’s main concern should be having a good time,” City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr. told CBS2. “They shouldn’t be concerned about ending up in the hospital.”
Espinal has called on the Yankees to extend protective netting at the stadium, a move the team has said it is exploring.
Some fans don’t agree with the idea.
“You wouldn’t feel like you’re at the game,” one man said.
“It kind of takes away from the game a little bit,” said another.
“It’s a rare accident that happened today,” a woman said.
Members of both ball clubs expressed their concerns following the game.
“You hate to see anyone get hit like that,” Girardi said. “I don’t know, if the netting’s expanded, if they still don’t get hit. How far does it go? That’s something up above that they make the decisions on. But it’s sad. … I’ve seen it as a catcher. When I caught in Chicago, I saw someone get hit seriously. It’s something that I think everyone’s looking into.”
“I thought of my kids. I have two kids under 3 years old and I just hope she’s all right,” said Frazier, who drove the foul ball into the stands. “I know the dad or whoever it was that was with them was trying their hardest, but the ball’s coming at 120 miles an hour at them and the ball’s hooking. So it’s like if you’ve never seen a ball like that, which most people in the world haven’t, it’s very tough.”
Frazier also tweeted well wishes to the little girl Wednesday evening.
Asked whether there should be more netting, Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge said: “We need it.”
“We’ve been trying to get these teams to put nets up,” the Twins’ Dozier said. “Number one, you don’t bring kids down there. And number two, every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it. I don’t care about the damn view of the fan or what. It’s all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach.”
As to what it would take to get nets up, Dozier responded: “The last resort that we don’t ever want to have happen. I’m not going to say it, but you know what I’m talking about.”
Speaking through a translator, Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar said, “I just saw blood coming out of this little girl.” He said perhaps kids under a certain age be prohibited from seats without protection.
Frazier and teammate CC Sabathia said their families always sit behind netting or screens.
“I think the netting should be up. I think every stadium should have it, but we’re not at that point yet,” Frazier said. “Hopefully, they took a look at all this and they figure something out.”
Girardi recalled a fan being badly injured while he was catching for the Chicago Cubs and said new ballparks “are more intimate” with “fans closer to home plate.”
“I’m for making everything as safe as possible for everyone at the ballpark — players, too,” Girardi said.
The Mets installed additional netting at Citi Field in July. It now goes down the first- and third-base lines and all the way to the middle of the outfield.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)