It’s great to have seats near the field at a baseball game, but that up-close view also comes with the risk of possibly getting hit by balls or bats flying into the stands. Saturday’s spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves was nearly marred by such an incident, but a quick-reacting fan saved a youngster from what could have been a serious injury.
— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) March 6, 2016
Christopher Horner, a photographer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, snapped the remarkable pictures. It appears that the bat would have hit the boy, who had some kind of hand-held electronic device, right in the face.
Last year, a woman attending a Red Sox-A’s game at Fenway Park wound up being hospitalized in serious condition after getting hit by a shard of a broken bat. After a week in the hospital, the woman was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
Later in the 2015 season, a fan at a Cubs-Pirates game was taken out of Wrigley Field on a stretcher after getting hit by a bat that escaped the grasp of Chicago’s Addison Russell. “You come to the game, please pay attention,” Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said after that incident. “It’s a crazy game, things fly in the stands. It’s awful, but we all know it can happen.”
A near-disastrous incident at a 2014 game between the Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals was averted by the brim of a fan’s cap. A bat flew out of the hands of A.J. Pierzynski and was deflected by a woman onto the hat, while the fan was looking the other way, completely oblivious to the peril he had narrowly escaped (video can be seen here).