In a scary incident at the Rays game on Friday night, a foul ball hit by Steven Souza Jr went thought a gap in the netting and struck a fan near the first-base dugout.

The incident came in the seventh inning. The ball traveled through a gap that was apparently made for media with cameras to view the field. The fan was eventually taken out on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital. Souza said the fans was conscious and talking.

Here is the reaction from Souza as it happened.

Here is the gap that the ball traveled through. Notice how wide the gap appears to be propped open.

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Interestingly, this appears to be part of the netting added by the Rays as a recommendation of Major League Baseball to protect fans.

The fan was shown briefly during the White Sox broadcast.

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After the game, there appeared to be some confusion among Rays media at the game. In the photo above, the gap appears to be open in the shape of a wide triangle.

Here is Marc Topkin reporting that the ball traveled through a gap 4-5″ wide.

Todd Kalas showed a video of the path the ball allegedly took, calling the odd of the ball hitting the opening “infinitesimal.”

The Rays have played eight home games and one fan has already been taken out on a stretcher. How “infinitesimal” can the odds really be? Even if the gap were only 4-5″, that is bigger than a baseball and it also still several feet tall. It also doesn’t explain why it is there in the first place.

White a sox announcers Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone said they have never seen an opening in the protective screen before.

“When you are behind the screen, I’ve never seen cutouts like that before,” said Stone during the broadcast.

Harrelson responded, “me neither.”

Again, this is what the same gap looked like just seconds after the fan was struck. Is this just an optical illusion? Does it matter?

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14 Comments

  1. T. J. Gill says:

    Radio guys described the opening as a "triangle".

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  2. Sledge says:

    I went to Weds game and sat in sec 104, which is close to the angle of that picture. I noticed the new netting. I expect that the gap is probably very small from the angle of the batter - no idea if 4-5 inches is correct. That picture you are showing us is what I saw from my seats, but it's a deceptive photo given that the angle has no bearing on the path the ball might travel. Clearly your right though that "infantesimal" is not a good description.

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  3. woodrow744 says:

    "Injured at a Rays game? Call me......Morgan and Morgan. For the People"!

    disclaimer: author is NOT attempting humor at fan's expense. Author IS attempting humor at lawyer's expense.

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  4. DRR says:

    Has the team issued a statement about this yet? Seems like they should have by now. Incredibly negligent on their part.

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    • JD999 says:

      Negligent???? Are you kidding me. This world in which we live, I swear drives me crazy. You are at a baseball and foul ball hit you. I don't care if there is a net, no net, or if it was cut open, to blame the Rays is STUPID. You sir are exactly what is wrong with this world.

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      • DRR says:

        Got to love victim blaming. You are probably pretty big on the "she was asking for it because of how she was dressed" defense as well.

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        • Geoff Peterson says:

          I'm not sure there is any victim blaming going on but using the word negligent is a bit much. I am sure the team has been in touch and shown the appropriate interest in the health of the injured woman, as has the player involved. With that said, look at the back of any ticket and it reads similarly to the following: THE HOLDER ASSUMES ALL RISK AND DANGERS INCIDENTAL TO THE GAME OF BASEBALL INCLUDING SPECIFICALLY (BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY) THE DANGER OF BEING INJURED BY THROWN OR BATTED BALLS. (The caps are theirs not mine)

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        • JD999 says:

          Not blaming the victim but to call the Rays negligent to ridiculous. No one was at fault here; it was an accident. Accidents happen, but use the term negligent sounds to me like hey look lets sue the Rays. Maybe sue Souza since he hit the ball, Heck if he could actually hit the ball would not have been fouled.

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          • DRR says:

            Just curious, then. Do you advocate for the removal of all of the netting?

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          • JD999 says:

            Of course not. But b/c the Rays put up netting they are negligent? Again, this was an accident. No one is at fault, no one needs to sue someone else. Netting or no netting.

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          • DRR says:

            If there is no presumption of responsibility for safety on the part of the Rays, I don't see why they have any netting up. As it is, I think that means there is a presumption of responsibility of safety and that it still holds here.

            I realize that you feel that this belief of mine makes me everything "that is wrong with this world". I find it hard to believe that you don't believe there are a lot worse things/people out there than I thinking that the Rays should be responsible for the basic safety of the fans at their games, but maybe it does really make me a true monster...

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          • JD999 says:

            Sue happy people are monsters in my book. It is like the old lady that spilled hot coffee on her lap that she bought at McDonald's. Really? Give me a break. All of this frivolous litigation is ridiculous.

            I am having some construction done at my house.There a warning signs up and I have put up a basic protective barrier around my lanai.My friend comes over and is on my lanai to look at the work (his choice) and rock flies through a hole and hits him. That is my fault?

            Look, I feel the lady that got hit. Souza looked devastated and I am sure the Rays have reached out to her. But to call the Rays negligent is bit a too far. You accept responsibility when you decided to go to the game. There are no surrounding mosst of the field, are they negligent if a line drive hits someone?

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          • DRR says:

            I never said anything about suing. Though, if you want to call me a monster for what I did say, guess you can just line me up with the rapists and murderers of the world...

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  5. Jay says:

    Dolman Law group at top of the page would be interested in this I think...

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