We took our kids to the BayBears from opening day in 1997. Well, Mike and I had to wait a few months, since I was 8 months pregnant on opening day... but he was in the stands before the season ended. Way up in the stands, where I thought he'd be safe.
Fast forward about 12 seasons or so (really can't remember how old he was, but it was somewhere around age 12)... we're sitting on the patio in front of the Stadium Club, watching the game. Ray is facing the field and was in the direct line of a foul ball. He couldn't move in time; it was just a matter of seconds. But Mike said "I've got it", took off his baseball cap, and snagged the ball.
People nearby who saw it broke into applause. An usher walked up and asked, "Did that kid just snag the ball with his cap?" And Mike turned around shaking, looked at me, and said he had no idea how fast that ball was coming. He didn't say it, but the look on his face told me that if he had known, he probably wouldn't have tried, thinking there's no way.
We've seen people get hit by baseballs. And it gives me a sick feeling in my gut every time.
All of Major League Baseball had that feeling yesterday. But to see it on Todd Frazier's face made me cry.
The really sad thing about this is the Yankees had been talking about extending their netting, the way the Mets did. For next year's season.
After yesterday, there are calls for the Yankees to take action now--
If you're wondering about local parks... the Mobile BayBears made the move to extend the netting at Hank Aaron Stadium before the 2017 season. BayBears general manager Chris Morgan told AL.com the goal was to make the Hank "one of the safest parks in all of Minor League Baseball."