The two-year-old suffered bleeding and swelling in her brain, as well as a seizure and a brain contusion after being hit. She is now taking medication to prevent more seizures while she recovers at home.
On 29 May 2019, Chicago Cubs‘ player Albert Almora Jr hit a drive into the stands against Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Almora watched the flight of his foul ball, took a step towards it, then sunk to one knee, distraught, his head in his hand.
The sound was sickening and the impact immediate – a small girl had been hit. Fans waved for assistance and seconds later a man rushed up the stairs with the crying child clutched to his chest.
After the match, the Chicago Cubs said the girl was in the hospital and Almora was distraught, saying he hoped to have a relationship with the young girl for the rest of his life.
Today, 30 days later, the girl’s lawyer revealed the true extent of the damage Almora’s ball wrought.
The distraught girl is comforted after being hit in the head by Almora’s foul ball.
Richard Mithoff told the Houston Astros in a letter on behalf of the girl’s parents that the girl had bleeding and swelling in her brain and a brain contusion after she was hit. He said she had a seizure after she was taken to hospital and is taking medication to prevent more seizures while she recovers at home, AP reported.
“The family’s foremost concern is about the health of their child, but they also wanted me to extend their thanks to the fans and the Astros for their concern,” Mithoff said in a statement, obtained by the Chicago Sun Times.
The girl will be medically examined next month and the family hopes to receive more information about the longterm effects of her injuries, Mithoff said.
like all major league stadiums in the US, Minute Maid Park in Houston has netting erected to protect fans near the field from foul balls. The girl’s family said they were sitting one section away from where the netting ends.
Almora, clearly distraught about what happened, has never spoken about the incident since the match. He was extremely shaken up by the incident and close to tears in the moments following the girl being hit. When asked if the protective netting should be extended, he said: “Right now, obviously, I want to put a net around the whole stadium.”
Following recommendations from the US Major League Baseball, all 30 teams had expanded their protective netting by the start of the 2018 season to at least the far ends of the dugouts, after several fans were injured by foul balls in 2017.
But extended netting hasn’t stopped fans from being injured in Major League Baseball. On Sunday, a young girl was taken to a hospital for precautionary tests after she was hit in the head by a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger.
The girl was sitting four rows from the field along the first-base line, just beyond the netting that extends to the end of the visiting dugout. The team said earlier this week that they’re studying how to improve the netting in the wake of the incident.
Last August, Linda Goldbloom was celebrating her 79th birthday and 59th wedding anniversary when she was killed when a 93 mph pitch hit by a San Diego Padres player travelled over an area protected by netting and struck Goldbloom in the head at Dodger Stadium. She died four days later at LA County-USC Medical Centre due to “acute intracranial haemorrhage” from the impact of the ball.
The Chicago White Sox plan to become the first team to extend the protective netting to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field after a female fan was struck by a ball hit by Eloy Jimenez on June 10 this year.