A foul ball can be a great souvenir, as long as you see it coming


Baseball players are constantly trying to avoid injuries. Isn’t that right, Pedro? Well, so are the fans. According to a yet to be released book entitled “Death at the Ballpark,” over 75 deaths have been caused by foul balls at all levels of baseball. Yet, nets only protect a portion of patrons behind home plate. And if you ask the MLB, you’re watching at your own risk.

But in the big picture, baseball is ignoring those alarms – the big picture that includes all those fans in unprotected seats near the dugouts and the foul lines where line-drive foul balls can be lethal projectiles.

Baseball is hiding behind the 145-word “warning” on the back of every ticket that reads, in part, “The bearer of the Ticket assumes all risk and danger incidental to the sport of baseball … including specifically (but not exclusively) the danger of being injured by thrown bats, fragments thereof, and thrown or batted balls.” In other words, if you are injured by a ball or a bat, you can’t sue the teams, the players or Major League Baseball (or minor league baseball, for that matter).

You can go to the first-aid room or to a hospital, but you can’t sue. And you cannot know how many fans need first aid from batted or thrown balls. The commissioner’s office has no central file on injured fans.

Of course, there’s a contingency of fans who agree that it’s the individual’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, keeping their heads on a swivel at every crack of the bat. And those who are really in know make certain to keep one eye on the ball at all times, even if they’re watching the game on television because nobody is safe from a errant ball to the balls. However, there are plenty of other ways to get hurt at the ballpark without taking a knuckleball to the noggin.

Two fans injured at Camden Yards when a person fell from the club level to the lower deck were released from the hospital Friday, the Orioles said.

The accident happened Thursday night near the end of Baltimore’s 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. The fan who fell from the club level landed on another person in the seating area below.

Links:

[IHT.com]: When foul balls become lethal projectiles, fans are mostly unprotected
[SI.com]: Injured fans released from hospital

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