Fan Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Foul Ball During Dodgers-Rockies Game At Dodger Stadium
Fan is taken away from a game at Dodger Stadium after being hit by a foul ball
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s series finale between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies came to an abrupt halt in the first inning when Cody Bellinger’s line drive into foul territory off first base struck a fan.

Bellinger looked into the stands with a concerned expression on his face and Alex Verdugo, who was on first base after a single, went into a crouch. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emerged from the dugout to speak with Bellinger.

“Obviously you see a direct hit, he had a good look at it and it’s coming off hot. I just wanted to go out there and settle him down a little bit, try to get him refocused,” Roberts later said. “You never want anything like that to happen.”

The woman was immediately tended to by medical personnel and remained in her seat for several minutes. She sat in her field-level seat at Dodger Stadium with an ice pack on her forehead as play resumed.

While there were early signs serious injury was avoided, she was escorted up the concourse on a stretcher (sitting upright) during the second inning. Per a pool reporter, she was taken to a local hospital for precautionary testing.

Prior to that, Bellinger went over to the vicinity to check on the fan and present her with ball. “She said she was OK and she gave me a thumbs up,” Bellinger said after the game. “Obviously it was a scary situation.”

Sunday’s incident is sure to inspire further debate on extending protective nettings across Major League Baseball stadiums. The Washington Nationals recently announced plans to do so during the All-Star break. The change will run netting nearly all the way down to the foul poles in right and left field.

The Chicago White Sox previously said they would extend the netting at Guaranteed Rate Field, while the Texas Rangers will have expansive coverage in their new stadium that opens next season. The Detroit Tigers installed netting last season that extends well past the dugout.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged an importance to continue the discussion about fan safety but indicated he was hesitant to require changes during the 2019 season.

After another young girl was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium in 2017, Manfred requested teams to extend protective netting to the ends of each dugout at their respective home stadiums.

The Dodgers complied with the request, and installed the additional netting at both Dodger Stadium and Camelback Ranch before the 2018 season. Prior to that, the Dodgers also extended the screen behind home plate to cover the seating area between the ends of the dugouts closest to home plate and within 70 feet of home plate.