A young fan was slammed by a foul ball off the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on Wednesday, sending the crowd at Houston’s Minute Maid Park into a hush and the player into emotional distress.
The child was “expected to be OK” after being taken, awake and responsive, to a hospital, according to an unconfirmed report from Houston’s SportsTalk 790.
Almora watched his foul ball strike the child on the third base side in the fourth inning, according to reports. He fell to his knees and buried his face in his hands. Cubs manager Joe Maddon and teammates tried to console him while Almora could be seen crying.
The child was scooped up and whisked away.
At the end of the inning Almora went over to the section to inquire about the condition of the fan and the overwhelmed player hugged a security guard.
“All we heard was screaming,” a nearby spectator, David LeVasseur, said to the Houston Chronicle. “We saw this dad pick up a child and run up the stairs. He took off running.”
The Astros announced on Twitter that the victim was taken to the hospital, giving no details about her condition.
“As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her,” Almora said in a postgame interview, above. He said he tried to keep his composure but “just couldn’t hold it anymore.”
“God willing I’ll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life,” he said. “But just prayers right now.”
Major League teams extended the safety netting at their ballparks in 2018 after a 2017 incident in which Todd Frazier of the New York Yankees lined a foul ball that struck a little girl.
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