In a scary scene on Friday night at Tropicana Field, a Tampa Bay Rays fan was injured when they were struck by a line drive foul ball went through a gap in the netting.
The incident came in the seventh inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox. The ball travelled through a gap that was apparently made for media with cameras to view the field. Ironically, the gap appears to be in a portion of the netting that was added prior to the season at the request of Major League Baseball in an initiative to protect fans.
Here is the foul ball and the immediate reaction by Steven Souza Jr. who was clearly distraught.
The fan was eventually taken out on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital. Souza, who went into the stands to check on the fans, said after the game that the fan was conscious and talking.
“She was beat up pretty good,” Souza told the media after the game (via the Tampa Bay Times). “It looked liked it caught her right in the eye, which wasn’t a good sight.”
Here is a view of the gap the ball travelled through, just seconds after the foul ball. Notice that the gap in the netting is propped open very wide.
That gap was later closed for the duration of the game. This led to some confusion among the local reporters about how wide the gap was when the ball went through. Some seemed to think that this was some bout of terrible luck.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 16, 2016
Here is another report that called the odds of this happening “infintesimal.”
Here’s the path the ball had to take to reach stands. Odds are infinitesimal. pic.twitter.com/rcAJtEeHnr
— Todd Kalas (@TampaBayTK) April 16, 2016
Clearly, the gap being shown by the local media after the game is not what the gap looked like at the time the fan was struck.
The fan was being held at a local hospital and no further updates were available.