Little Girl Rushed to Hospital after Being Struck by a Foul Ball during a Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros Game
On Wednesday night, fans swarmed to Minute Maid Park stadium in Houston to watch a game between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. In a tragic turn of events, a little girl was hit by a foul ball.
During a baseball match between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, the former’s outfielder Albert Almora Jr., 25, hit a line drive in the fourth inning. The ball flew into the field-level stands down the third base line.
The foul ball ended up hitting a little girl who was immediately taken to a hospital. After the incident occurred, Almora Jr. was seen with his hands on his head in distress.
The player took a couple of steps toward the seats and then fell to his knees near home plate. Teammate Jason Heyward and manager Joe Maddon were on hand to console him.
"I'm just praying. I'm speechless."
After a few minutes Almora Jr., who appeared to be crying, seemed to calm down and managed to continue the at-bat. He wasn’t the only one affected by the incident as players from both teams appeared to be shaken up.
"Albert is an emotional young man with children, so that made it even more real to him. I understood exactly what he was going through right there."
After the game Almora Jr., a father of two boys, still looked shook up. He described what happened saying he knew when he looked into the stands that his ball had hit someone.
The injured girl was picked up and taken up the stairs by a man who appeared to be with her. A fan present at the game revealed that the little girl appeared conscious and was crying as she was carried away.
The Astros issued a statement after the game sharing that the girl was, indeed, taken to a hospital but they revealed that they could not share any further details on her condition. They also sent their “thoughts and prayers” to her family.
The following day Major League Baseball released a statement saying:
"The events at last night's game were extremely upsetting. We send our best wishes to the child and family involved. Clubs have significantly expanded netting and their inventory of protected seats in recent years. With last night's event in mind, we will continue our efforts on this important issue."
Fans who visit Minute Maid Park are protected by netting from foul balls near the field. In Houston, the netting on the third base side extends to the end of the visiting team's dugout.
The little girl who was injured was sitting in what looked to be the third or fourth row about 10 feet past where the netting ends. After receiving recommendations from Major League Baseball, last year’s season started with all 30 teams having expanded their protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts.
The decision was made after a number of fans were injured by foul balls in 2017.
Speaking a little more after the game Almora Jr. explained: "I finally came to my senses after the next half inning when I went over to the stands. I just couldn't hold it anymore." During the game, he was comforted by a security guard when he tried to get more information on the girl's condition.
The player added:
"I wish I could say more, I don't know. I'm just praying. I'm speechless. I'm at loss [sic] of words, being a father, two boys ... but God willing I'll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now and that's all I really can control.”
His team won the match 2- 1.