Child hospitalized after being hit by foul ball at minor league game

Just days after a young girl was hit by a foul ball at a Houston Astros game, tragedy struck again in a minor league game.

A young boy was hit in the face by a foul ball during an Indianapolis Indians game on Saturday night and had to be taken to a hospital, according to a report from Fox 59’s Darius Johnson. The team did not offer an update on the fan's status on Sunday.

The Indians’ press release stated that the fan was sitting along the first base line when he was struck by the ball. He was treated by on-site EMTs but had to be taken away to a local hospital on a gurney.

The story is hauntingly similar to the sad story in Houston, even down to the batter, Ryan LaMarre, looking distraught and getting down on a knee after seeing and hearing the injured child. With such terrible events taking place close together, calls for more safety grow ever louder.

The current extended netting is not enough

Baseball fields have always had protective netting behind home plate, but the push to extend netting down the lines is rather new. Fans being able to catch foul balls has long been a tradition of the game, and this would somewhat detract from how connected they are to the field of play.

Even the Indianapolis Indians, a Triple-A affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, heeded some fans’ calls and extended their netting to the far edges of each dugout in 2017, according to the Indianapolis Star’s Emma Kate Fittes. However, that was clearly not enough netting.

12 PHOTOS
Protective netting at MLB ballparks
See Gallery
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)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Foul balls are particularly dangerous, as opposed to home run balls, because they have a shorter distance to reach the crowd, and there is far less time for fans to react to screaming line drives than there is for long homers.

“I don’t feel personally like it is the spectator’s job to worry about safety at these events,” the boy’s mother, Tonya Lipscomb, said, via Fox 59. “Of course, we take extra precautions, but I can’t educate a three-year-old on how to watch out for a fastball. I mean even if a fastball we’re coming at me as an adult how am I supposed to protect myself from that.”

How realistic is change at baseball stadiums?

After these two recent episodes, there may be an even bigger push for extended netting. As the Chicago Tribune points out, the MLB Players Association unsuccessfully pushed for netting between each foul pole and home plate in 2006 and 2016, and Japanese stadiums have had pole-to-pole netting for quite some time.

Still, there remain plenty of American fans and executives who stand opposed to this seemingly obvious fix. Whether it’s a perceived drop in experience or ticket revenue, MLB does not seem ready to solve a problem entirely of its own doing.

A woman died last year because of a foul ball. If that’s not enough to change someone’s mind, I’m not sure what will. How many others needless injuries do we have to withstand before putting up more unobtrusive netting?

More from Yahoo Sports:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.