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 23-29:
RUNNING TOTAL OF FOUL BALL FACIALS
After 57 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 53 and in the 2014 season there were 55. 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).
FOUL BALL FUNNEL CAKE
Now this was cool! The angle on this foul was virtually unheard of in my experience working on FoulBallz.com. There are plenty of live drive fouls, and a number find their way into the concourse, bounce and his fans, but to deep fry the ball is a new one.
Check out the story about George Springer hitting the funnel cake foul ball.
Respect the Foul Ball
Fouls have power. We’ve seen this happen time and again. Last week was yet another example of the sheer kinetic force they have. This one, hit by Paul Goldschmidt, obliterated the phone in the Pirates’ dugout phone. Players are lucky something like the Dietrich foul ball didn’t happen with them too.
PLAYERS & UMPS BEWARE TOO!
Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph was nailed in the groin by a foul ball last week and had to be taken to the hospital. I feel his pain. I used to catch. Ouch.
Then Plate umpire David Rackley had to leave Sunday’s Dodgers-Padres game after he also got hit in the groin by a foul ball. This incident involved a foul bunt attempt by Joc Pederson.
Last week on of the scariest foul ball moments occurred. Derek Dietrich was minding his own business in the dugout during the Marlins-Braves game Saturday when he was knocked out by a foul ball. Again, he was IN the dugout. He wasn’t in the MIDDLE of the dugout. I could see if this happened when he was on stairs or up against the rail, but he was in the dugout. The injury took him out of the game for a couple of days, for obvious reasons.
At a Blue Jays/Red Sox game last week, another ump got nailed. Umpire Mike DiMuro was knocked out of last Saturday’s game after he ended up with a #FoulBallFacial.
We can’t forget Royals’ Salvador Perez in this list. Perez ended up with a thigh injury so bad he’s out for 7-1o days.
COOL SNAGS & CELEBRATIONS
I don’t think there’s a way to be “way too excited” about a foul ball when you’re a kid. It’s part of the game; that’s why we all love them, and for a kid, it’s especially cool. So when this young man celebrated his souvenir from an SEC game he had every right to do this awesome foul ball celebration.
Jose Bautista seems to have a lot of interesting foul ball hits. Maybe it’s just because I’m kind of a fan of his, although I am a die-hard Tigers fan, but the guy knows how to take out beers and other items fans are holding. Last week he obliterated a fan’s beer. Crazy trajectory on it.
A few weeks back a Tigers commentator missed being smacked in the head by a foul ball. Last week, we saw an example of why it’s not necessarily a bad thing to let women play. Rockies broadcaster Jenny Cavnar was sitting along the 3B side during the Thursday match-up between the Rockies and the Red Sox at Fenway. When a foul ball came skipping toward her in the fourth inning, she stayed calm and cool, kept her eye on the ball and snagged it without leaving her seat. For obvious reasons, she proudly displayed her grab with a large smile.