And the foul ball fun keeps on going. Welcome back to this week’s version of “TWIFB Notes” (This Week in Foul Balls) in which security guards are surprisingly prominent figures and fans are injring themselves in droves. In this weekly post, I look at the best and worst foul ball moments in Major League Baseball…and sometimes Minor League Baseball…and sometimes softball and high school baseball.
First, our running total of foul ball hits in the facial area, or what I call “Foul Ball Facials”, as they are reported ONLY on Twitter. This is the count after seven weeks of play:
- 55 in 64 days
- 21 using phone
- 5 too drunk to move 1
- 3 injured GOING for ball
When we total up the number of hits in which the fan contributed to their own injury by some method that was unavoidable, we get a whopping total of 69.1% of foul ball injuries WERE AVOIDABLE due to fans being injured as a result of their own issues. Very few foul balls actually hit a person without the fan’s contrinuting to their own injuries.
The Hall of Fame
This is new. During last week’s Miami Marlins – Arizona Diamondbacks showdown, a foul ball shattered the Marlins’ fish tank. The player who hit that bullet was J.T. Realmuto. The foul ball broke the protective covering of the fish tank at Marlins Park. Thankfully, the handyman’s secret weapon, duct tape, served nicely as a temporary fix.
This only makes sense. Not long ago, a high school baseball player was nailed by a foul ball while in the dugout. As EVERY player knows, you pay attention and you assume risk for the dangers inherent to the game. An Iowa jury saw otherwise and awarded the student an obscene compensation amount. Why? The jury clearly saw a young man being injured rather than a baseball player well aware of the risks. However, cooler, more rational heads prevailed and the jury decision has been overturned and a new trial ordered.
I keep droning on about human response time being more than adequate to prepare you for a foul ball. Here’s FOX Sports Florida’s Craig Minervini showing how my claims are absolutely right. The situation: Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldsmidt ripped a foul ball that headed right for Minervini, who’s quick reaction blocked the ball from nailing him.
The Hall of Shame/Lame
This BATBOY goofed it bigtime. This is just bad. It happened during a Milwaukee Brewers – New York Mets game. And that the manager got ejected for arguing about it? Uncool. Who can blame Terry Collins for going ballistic over the call when the original interference call was overruled?
Speaking of goofs by non-players on the field, during a Los Angeles Dodgers – St. Louis Cardinals game, this poor balldude also flubbed it, not as badly as the kid, but pretty badly. I think female ballpeople tend to be better at their jobs then the dudes.
Does baseball have a safety issue? No. It does NOT. When you place baseball injuries into context, comparing it to other major sports, it’s very low on the list. In fact, soccer, golf, the Tour de France, and car racing all have significantly more deaths then baseball.
We all know foul balls are dangerous…at least we all SHOULD know. I have a special place in my heart for the media though. I can’t blame them for not reacting as quickly as regular fans do, since their job is to pay attention, but in a different way. This photographer at the NCAA regionals is one example. He was struck by a foul ball; thankfully he’s out of hospital.
Here’s a story about how a foul ball became a memorable souvenir for one young fan. It’s a perfect example—another one—of what baseball is all about, what it does. It saves people. It helps us. It shows us the best (and sometimes the worst in people).
Melky Cabrera got nailed in the eye by a foul ball last week. In the eye. And he was the one who hit it. He had to leave the game as a result. Spoiler Alert: He’s fine.