- Bob Levey/Getty Images
- A young child at Minute Maid Park was struck by a foul ball on Wednesday night.
- The scary scene unfolded in the fourth inning, with Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hitting a ball foul down the third-base line.
- The child was immediately rushed out of the stands, while Almora reacted with horror.
A scary scene unfolded at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night after a young fan was struck with a foul ball.
During the fourth inning, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a foul ball down the third-base line.
Albert Almora Jr down on one knee after a foul ball apparently hit a small kid/baby in the stands. Was rushed upstairs immediately. Minute Maid has gone quiet. Awful scene here
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 30, 2019
Almora reacted in horror almost immediately, and fans in the crowd signaled for attention.
Here is Albert Almora’s reaction as his foul ball struck a very young fan. A really horrific moment. Kids fall in love with the game of baseball after going to the ballpark and experiencing a Major League Baseball game. This shouldn’t happen. PRAYERS. ???????? pic.twitter.com/yOGfrqpmMF
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) May 30, 2019
Associated Press photographer David J. Phillip caught the immediate aftermath in the stands, as a man carried the crying child up and away from the crowd.
Almora broke down in tears, needing a few minutes to regain his composure before continuing at the plate. He was consoled by teammates and coaches before embracing a member of the stadium’s security team.
A really tough scene at Minute Maid Park over the last inning. Albert Almora Jr. of the Cubs hit a hard line-drive foul into the stands that hit a young child. Almora Jr. was extremely shaken up and after the next half inning, he was consoled by MMP security personnel. pic.twitter.com/2hfHX4hvNd
— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) May 30, 2019
“He rips a line drive down the third-base line and it comes in and it looks like it hits someone hard,” said David LeVasseur, the man who wound up with the ball, told the Houston Chronicle. “It bounces, comes down and hits the guy to my left off ricochet and the next thing you know it’s at my feet. I pick it up and all we heard was screaming.”
LeVasseur also said the ball had no traces of blood on it and that the child was alert and conscious when he ran up the stands to check on them.
After the game, Almora said that the conversation he had with the security guard was about the girl’s condition, but could not go into detail. “Unofficial things,” Almora said. “I wish I could say more.”
Almora went on to say that he hopes he can develop a relationship with the child and her family.
“Right now, I’m just praying and I’m speechless,” he said. “I’m at loss 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.”
You can watch Almora’s comments below.
Albert Almora Jr. speaks after hitting a hard line-drive foul ball into the stands that struck a young child ????pic.twitter.com/BlM4hvCEia
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) May 30, 2019
The incident reignited calls from across the league to extend protective netting further into foul territory.
“There’s a lot of kids coming to the games – young kids who want to watch us play, and the balls come in hard,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. “I mean, the speed of the game is quick, and I think any safety measure we can take to, you know, make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”
Currently, Minute Maid Park’s protective netting only extends to the end of the visiting team’s dugout on the third-base side, but after Wednesday night, that could change in the near future.