We are now well into the 2016 MLB season. It’s been an interesting one for sure when it comes to foul balls. Not only did a fan get smoked with a foul THROUGH the netting within the first week of the season, but fans are still getting seriously hurt. The reason is one we need to explore further, but before we do here are some of the foul ball highlights for the time being from the week of May 16-22:
RUNNING TOTAL OF FOUL BALL FACIALS
After 53 days of games, the official Twitter reported total for MLB games of fans hit in the face area by a foul ball was at 56. This is ONLY those #FoulBallFacials self-reported on Twitter. If I were to search Instagram and other social media sites, I’m guessing that total may be double.
My unofficial records for the last two seasons show the number of facials has not changed at all since the netting went up. In 2015 by this time there were 49 and in the 2014 season there were 47. So what’s the point of netting if it’s really not doing anything? The angles haven’t been cut down to save those most in danger (family seating areas and tempered “hockey” glass would help more and be less expensive).
Young Boy Injured by Foul Ball:
Last week a young man, 7-years-old, was smoked by a foul ball. His parents had him sitting in the second row at Petco in section 113. The young fan was hit in the head. Thankfully he was okay after a while.
A 6-year-old boy wasn’t so lucky about two weeks ago. He ended up being hospitalized after getting hit by a foul at a Charlotte Knights game. A similar situation to the Padres incident last week contributed to the injury.
These are prime examples of how negligent parents are and why I’ve advocated for years for MLB to create family specific sections in the outfield and/or upper decks, and ban kids 12 and under from sitting field level in the sections between the outer walls of each dugout. Had my suggestions been taken seriously by Manfred, the young man at the Padres game last week wouldn’t have been in that position. I do blame the parents. They should have known better.
We Can Learn from Kids:
Did you see the young Angels fan last week? This is a classic case of the goodness in the hearts of our kids. The young man not only makes an incredible catch on the ball, but then he gives it to a young lady seated in the row in front of him.
Personally, I think he was looking for her digits and seeing if true love was in the air. But I could be wrong. J It was a cool thing to do regardless of motive.
Some People Need to Learn from Our Kids:
And then there was this Athletics fan…
The guy leaps over a Yankees fan and steals a foul from the guy in the third inning. Karma time. A while later, the Yankees fan gets a surprise gift: “A few innings later, however, this gentleman received his own ball courtesy of the A’s production team, autographed by play-by-play duo Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse.”
How cool is it the Athletics production team recognized how jacked up the A’s fan was and decided to rectify the situation? Class act…unlike the fan.
Cool Snags and Celebrations:
File this one under “true love”: A Phillies fan saves his wife from getting smacked by a foul ball.
Then how about this leap by the umpire to dodge a bullet foul ball? Impressive.
This guy was TOTALLY pumped to snag a foul ball…and then cool enough to give it to a kid. Personally, unless the kid was my son or daughter, I would have kept it.
Here’s another Athletics fan with a foul ball, but he definitely lives up to his “Best Dad” jersey.
Players smell their bats, so why can’t a fan kiss a foul ball? This Pirates fan decided it was fine.
Finally, I recommend NEVER trying this at a game. This is the exception, not the rule. This Twins and somehow managed to snag a foul ball after taking a break from looking at his phone. The reason he could do this is the location of his seats. The seating is far enough away and needs a slower, more arching trajectory to make it there. Just be aware of that fact.