On Wednesday, the New York Yankees played their last of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. But after Yankees player Todd Frazier hit a foul ball in the fifth inning, baseball was the last thing on the players’ minds.
According to the New York Times, Frazier hit the ball a whopping 106 miles per hour, and, almost immediately, dropped to his knees with his hand covering his mouth in despair.
The ball hit a two-year-old girl directly in the mouth.
— Quick Stop Sports (@QuickStopSports) September 20, 2017
Tom Barton, a fan who told the New York Times he was seated just three rows behind the girl, said the scene immediately turned dire:
“That was a screaming line drive. I just wanted to cry for this little kid. There was so much blood.”
Another fan, Steve Beattie, told the New York Times the hit was “brutal.”
Frazier couldn’t believe where his ball had just landed. He stayed on bended knee, with tears welling in his eyes, until the girl was carried off to paramedics. Later, he said he couldn’t stop thinking of his own two children:
“It was terrible. It was something I wish had never happened. Very unlucky, man. I have two kids under 3 years old and I thought of them. I just hope she’s all right.
I know the dad or whoever it was that was with them was trying their hardest, but the ball’s coming at 120 miles an hour at them and the ball’s hooking. So it’s like if you’ve never seen a ball like that, which most people in the world haven’t, it’s very tough.”
And he wasn’t the only player who was absolutely devastated.
Eduardo Escobar, the third baseman for the Twins, had both hands over his head waiting to see if she’d be okay, according to the New York Times, as did one of the Yankees’ coaches, Joe Espada.
The New York Times reports that as players and fans alike realized what had happened, the stadium “grew hushed,” and the game stopped for four minutes.
Once it was over, players were still clearly shaken by the incident. Per CBS News, Twins player Brian Dozier has had it with the lack of netting around professional baseball fields — a highly contentious issue among players worried about safety and fans who believe it will obstruct the views of their expensive seats — saying:
“Every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it. I don’t care about the damn, view of the fan, or what. It’s all about safety. I still have a knot in my stomach, I don’t know if you guys saw it, but we need nets or don’t put kids down there.”
Yankees player C. C. Sabathia agreed. In fact, according to The New York Times, he said whenever his own children come to games, they always sit behind a netted area:
“I feel like we need to get the net. I think every ballpark should have it.”
CBS News reported that the Yankees released a statement that read, in part:
The child who was struck with a batted ball today was given first aid at the ballpark and is receiving medical attention at an area hospital. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, prevents the team from giving more information. We will have no further comment at this time.
Her grandfather, who was with her at the game, later told reporters that she is okay but that “it’s too early to tell” if she needs surgery or not.
Watch the play in the video below.