Report: Woman killed by foul ball at Dodgers game in August

A 79-year-old woman died last August after being struck in the head by a foul ball during a game at Dodger Stadium, ESPN Outside the Lines reports.

Per a coroner’s report, Linda Goldbloom died of “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma,” stemming from a line drive during a game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25.

The foul ball reportedly came in the ninth inning off the bat of Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes during a plate appearance against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Goldbloom had been sitting in the stadium’s Loge Level, the level above field level, just above the area protected by netting on the first-base side. Per the story, Goldbloom was not on her phone.

No media outlet reported on the event, and the Dodgers stayed silent about it. Both the team and Goldbloom’s family would not tell ESPN if any legal action or agreement had been struck in the aftermath of the incident.

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Protective netting at MLB ballparks
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Protective netting at MLB ballparks
TORONTO, ON - JULY 1: A view of the new extended safety netting installed this season above the home dugout during the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre on July 1, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
BOSTON - JULY 10: Boston Red Sox player Mookie Betts reaches around the new protective netting for fans to sign some autographs before the start of the game. The Boston Red Sox host the Texas Rangers in a regular season MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Greg Bird #33 of the New York Yankees leaps into the protective netting surrounding the infield as he tries to catch a foul ball in an interleague MLB baseball game against the New York Mets on June 10, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Mets won 2-0. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 19: A young fan chews on the safety netting newly installed this season before the MLB game between the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays on May 19, 2018 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 22: General view of netting in front of the stands during a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on May 22, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 7-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 31: The netting is seen as Jake Odorizzi #12 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians during the game on May 31, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 9-8. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Marjama falls against the backstop netting chasing a foul ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas in the first inning on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 8: The newly installed netting is shown during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 8, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Newly installed safety netting frames up pitcher Ryan Tepera #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays as he warms up against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 8: The newly installed netting is shown during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 8, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 05: New safety netting in place that stretches out to the end of both dugouts at Coors Field April 05, 2018 before the Colorado Rockies open their season at home to play the Atlanta Braves Friday afternoon. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 8: The newly installed netting is shown during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 8, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
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Third documented case of fan dying after being hit by ball

Per ESPN, this is the third reported case of a fan in the stands dying after being hit in the head with a foul ball, and the first such case in nearly 50 years. The other two cases are:

  • Clarence Stagemyer, who died at 32 after being hit in the head by a ball accidentally thrown into the stands by a Washington Senators third baseman at Griffith Stadium on Sept. 29, 1943.
  • Alan Fish, who died at 14 after being struck by a foul line drive near the first-base dugout at Dodger Stadium during a game against the San Francisco Giants on May 16, 1970.

Even more protective netting at games?

Goldbloom’s death occurred during the first season in which all 30 MLB teams were required to use extended netting to protect fans from dangerous foul balls, a development that came after a 2-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by a foul line drive at Yankee Stadium.

This incident will undoubtedly lead to calls to raise and extend the nets even more for 2019 and beyond. Goldbloom’s daughter, Jana Brody, suggested to ESPN that a possible solution could be the system used in Japan, where nets extend all the way to the foul pole, and raising the nets even higher:

“I’d love to see the netting extended vertically, and we know it doesn’t block the view,” said Brody. “Raise it a little higher — what’s the hurt in that?”

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