Fan at Rays vs. White Sox Game Stretchered Away After Being Hit by Foul Ball

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15:  Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays comes into the stands to check on the status of a fan that was injured by a foul ball that was tipped by Souza while at bat during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

A fan was struck by a foul ball and taken off on a stretcher Friday at Tropicana Field during the seventh inning of the Tampa Bay Rays' 1-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

According to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin, "the female fan was sitting in the second row of seats behind the protective netting that was added this season, but the ball, off the bat of Steven Souza Jr., went through a small triangle-shaped opening."

Following the incident, the Rays added additional netting, per Topkin:

Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

#Rays added additional netting today to cover triangular gap that ball went through last night and struck fan https://t.co/DQn3gg6zIh

MLB.com's Mike Nabors added the fan "was conscious and talking." On Saturday, Topkin reported the fan is in stable condition at an an area hospital.

After fouling the pitch off, Souza went into the stands to check on the fan, per Topkin:

Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

That's #Rays Souza in stands checking on injured fan hit by foul ball https://t.co/rc6PXOq6rH

Souza commented on the incident after the game:

Tampa Bay Times photographer Will Vragovic relayed a picture of medical personnel taking the fan out of the stands:

Will Vragovic @willvrag

Fan hit by a foul ball off #Rays Souza taken out of the stands on a stretcher. https://t.co/p8h6SmmYRf

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who was on the mound at the time of the incident, commented on the situation following the game, via Nabors:

I feel bad, I really do. That's tough. It's part of it. I think Major League Baseball is trying to do what they can to protect fans, but that's just a tough situation right there. I almost felt that when it happened. I just feel so bad for the individual and the family. I just hope for the best, really.

In December, Major League Baseball issued a recommendation "to add netting, or some sort of protective barrier, to shield fans from balls and bats that sometimes go into the stands in all field-level seats between the near ends of both dugouts and within 70 feet of home plate," per MLB.com's Paul Hagen.


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