An evening at the ballgame is supposed to be carefree, and that goes double when you’re in a great venue like PNC Park to see the Bucs face the Cubs. The start of the game had been delayed about 30 minutes due to rain, but that wasn’t the night’s only stoppage.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Starlin Castro fouled an AJ Burnett offering straight back into the net behind home plate, where it struck a woman who was navigating to her seat. I can’t think of anything to say about this other than it was scary as hell. Wrigley’s got the cute little signs everywhere about being aware for foul balls, but that’s the whole reason they put those nets there in the first place.
I’ve not had too many opportunities to sit immediately behind home, but in those few instances I took note of how taut the netting was. I can only assume that the webbing in Pittsburgh has a bit more slack in it, but I don’t want to trivialize this or try to place blame on the facilities. The good news is that the woman appeared to be conscious and her friend gave a thumbs-up to the crowd.
Pirates officials released a statement later in the game to say that the injured fan was indeed awake and alert while being taken to the hospital following the incident. I’d like to echo the Pirates and others in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with her.
I felt a bit conflicted about putting the video in here at all, as I don’t want to make light of the situation or appear to be participating in sensationalism in any way. In the end, I decided to use it, but as a YouTube clip that you’ve got to choose to watch. I know it’s fun to have a few beers and maybe even catch foul balls in them, but it’s important to realize that not every instance has a result we can laugh about.