Brett Lawrie's Broken Bat Strikes and Injures Fan in Stands at Fenway Park

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

A fan, who was accidentally hit in the head with a broken bat by Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, is helped from the stands during a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, June 5, 2015.  The game stopped and the woman was wheeled down to the first base line to be transported to a local hospital. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

There was a frightening incident on June 5 during the Oakland Athletics-Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park, as a broken-bat shard struck a fan, later identified as Tonya Carpenter, in the stands.  

ESPN.com's Gordon Edes reported that Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie's bat broke, sending a piece into the stands. That shard hit a fan who was sitting down the third-base line:

Carpenter was taken to the hospital where she was initially battling life-threatening injuries, Boston police told David Wade of WBZ-TV. She was released from the hospital on June 12, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). 

Alex Shirkey of MLB.com provided a statement on Carpenter's recovery Dr. Efstathios Papavassiliou:

"Ms. Carpenter's recovery so far has been excellent. She's getting stronger every day, and we've seen tremendous progress. We're confident she's ready to move forward with the next phase of her care."

"When one breaks like that, there’s jagged edges on it, anything can happen," Lawrie said following the game, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. "You’ve got limited netting here in Boston...it’s so close there’s really no time to react," Lawrie explained, via Mastrodonato.

John Tomase of WEEI described the scene at the time of the incident and noted medics took the fan out of the stadium on a gurney:

The scary incident happened during Lawrie's first at-bat in the top of the second inning. Fans around the woman did come to her aid before medics could get there.

Every Major League Baseball stadium has protective nets behind home plate to prevent foul balls from striking fans, but it's nearly impossible to protect against a freak accident like this one.