Red Sox Fan Struck By Broken Bat ‘Expected To Survive’

The woman who suffered life threatening injuries on Friday during a game between the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics in Boston is said to be in serious but stable condition, and is expected to survive.

Boston police officer spokesperson Rachel McGuire told the Boston Globe that Red Sox fan Tonya Carpenter, who remains at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Hospital in Boston, took some serious injuries but was going to make it.

“She is expected to survive.”

The incident occurred during the second inning, when Oakland’s Brettt Lawrie broke his bat after grounding a ball from Red Sox pitcher Wade Miley to second base. The bat broke, and shards of wood went flying into the second and third rows on the third base side of the Red Sox home, Fenway Park. Wood struck Carpenter directly in the face, and Red Sox officials and medical personnel attended to her. She was eventually carried out on a stretcher, halting play for several minutes.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 4-2, but their thoughts were with Carpenter, not on their win or the AL East race. Team officials released a statement on behalf of the Red Sox, extending their thoughts and prayers.

“All of us offer our prayers and our thoughts as we wish her a speedy recovery.”

Red Sox Manager John Farrell said he was thinking of Carpenter and her family after that “scary moment,” and wished her well.

“Our concern is with her and her family.”

Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez revealed Saturday that the incident got to him and that he hopes everyone is praying for Carpenter.

“I got sick. I couldn’t sleep last night. I went to bed late and I actually posted something that everybody [should] pray. I hope she gets back and gets better.”

The incident brings fan safety back into the spotlight, not just at Red Sox games but all over the sport. Bloomberg reported that foul balls hit into the stands injure 1,750 fans every year and, in 2011, Shannon Stone was killed after falling out of the outfield stands while trying to catch a home run.

There has been discussion in the past about extending the netting that wraps around home plate further along the first and third base sidelines. All MLB ballparks are set up differently, and the section Carpenter was sitting in were added 13 years ago, and it sparked controversy about how it narrowed the foul territory at Red Sox games. This would lessen the opportunity for hard foul balls or broken bats to injure unsuspecting fans.

A report in 2009 shared that the death toll in baseball-related injuries is so high that it’s incalculable. Part of the reasoning is that statistics like this haven’t been kept since the game’s inception, but at all levels of play, whether on-field or off, baseball has proven to be a dangerous game.

As the latest, and most high-profile, near-fatality thanks to it being at a Red Sox game, time will tell if this will be the injury that sparks the MLB and other levels of the game to begin implementing stronger safety precautions.

[Image via ABC News]