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Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. Foul Ball Strikes Young Fan: NPR



A young child is taken from the stands after being injured by a foul ball from the bat of Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Wednesday.
                
                
                    
                    David J. Phillip / AP
                    
                

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David J. Phillip / AP
        
    

A young child is taken from the stands after being injured by a foul ball from the bat of Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Wednesday

David J. Phillip / AP
            
        

A young child was struck by a foul ball from the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. a terrifying scene during the fourth inning of Wednesday's nationally televised game in Houston.

Almora, who kept his eyes on the ball as it goes past the third base line, passed the existing safety netting and into the stands at Minute Maid Park, clasped his head in his hands and let out gas fans. Grief-stricken, he then fell to his knees burying his face in his arms. Fellow teammate Jason Heyward and manager Joe Maddon attempted to console him as he cried.

Meanwhile, the Astros also dropped to their knees as a man, who was scooped up and rushed to the stage of stairs.

Almora struggled to play through the remainder of the inning. When it was over, he walked into the stands where he spoke with a security guard. The conversation ended in an embrace with Almora becoming overcome with emotion.

"All we heard was screaming," said David LeVasseur told the Houston Chronicle ]. "We saw this thing, picking up a child and running up the stairs. He took off running." LeVasseur said the ball eventually landed at his feet.

"I (came) upstairs and see the first-aid guys up there and the dad is holding the girl. She (was) alert, she's conscious, she's fine. I was just going to give somebody in the family the ball I asked the first-aid guy if she was OK and he said he didn't know.

In a statement the Astros confirmed the girl was taken to the hospital but offered no details on her condition. "We are unable to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family," the team said.

Speaking with reporters following the game, Almora said, "As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was here." He said the rest of the at bat "was child of a blur."

"I had to try to keep my composure during that at-bat, but when that half-inning was over I just couldn't hold it anymore," he added.

In 2017 New York Yankee Todd Frazier hit a foul ball that hit a young girl in the stands. The incident renewed the debate on more comprehensive protection for fans in major league ballparks, eventually leading all 30 teams to implement extended safety nets in 2018.


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