PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A woman has been released from the hospital after being struck in the head by a foul ball during Monday night’s Pirates game at PNC Park.
The Pittsburgh Pirates-Chicago Cubs game was delayed for 23 minutes while medics treated a woman in the stands Monday night.
She was standing in the first row behind home plate with her back toward the field, when a foul tip off the bat of Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro hit the protective netting and struck her in the head.
“I think they will address it and that would be I think the key evaluation. What is done about something now that it happened,” Pirates fan Bill Shay said.
Shay thinks Pirates officials will address what happened.
“I think they’ll naturally look at it very seriously and making a decision after everyone has a chance in charge of those things has to say. I’m sure they’ll do the right thing,” Shay said.
Others say it’s the responsibility of fans to be aware of their surroundings when the ball is in play. KDKA spoke to some fans who saw what happened.
“Her head was very close to the net. When the foul ball hit the net, it hit her head and she dropped immediately,” witness Kathy Donatelli said.
“Paramedics came right after, helped her out and pulled her on a stretcher and went on her way,” witness Sean Truver said.
Fans said she gave the thumbs up as she was wheeled out of the park.
Many of the Pirates said they were very concerned for the woman as well.
“When I looked back, she was falling down, that’s it. Everything happened too fast,” said Pirates’ catcher Francisco Cervelli. “I know how it feels when the ball hits you really hard, especially in the head.”
“A bunch of us were talking about it in the dugout. We’ve never seen something like that before,” said Pirates’ shortstop Jordy Mercer. “That’s why this game is so weird at times because it’s so unpredictable. Hopefully, we’ll never see that again.”
According to the Pirates, she was alert and conscious when she was taken to the hospital. She has since been released after being evaluated.
“There was a lot of thoughts, a lot of prayers going on for that 25-minute pause,” said Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle. “I think the umpires handled it very professionally. She was obviously not in the position to be moved, so you need to sit and wait it out and let the experts in that area come in and take care of what they need to take care of and then you move on. So, we’re very happy for her that she was able to be released last night.”
This morning, the Pirates issued the following statement:
“The female fan who was struck by a foul ball during last night’s game was sent via ambulance to the hospital for the appropriate examinations. Thankfully, the fan was released from the hospital following those examinations.
We are extremely grateful for this positive outcome. The organization is in the process of reaching out to her to show our support. Due to privacy laws, we will not reveal the name of the fan, nor additional details at this time.
We wish to thank the PNC Park personnel and fellow fans who were on the scene at the time, as well as the Pittsburgh EMS for their quick response.”
Dave Kirilloff owns a baseball training center and works with his son, Alex, a junior at Plum High School, who has a scholarship to play baseball in college. Kirilloff says today’s high-quality Major League bats send baseballs flying like rockets.
“You have that bat in the hands of a Major League player, and sometimes you wonder, ‘How does a guy not that big hit the ball so hard?’” he said.
Kirilloff says the game is much faster, pitchers throw harder and fans should always be alert.
“I just sometimes think Major League Baseball and organizations should make fans aware every half inning or every inning break – there is a risk, please pay attention to the game,” said Kirilloff.