As fans around the world celebrated another opening day for Major League Baseball on Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were being told that their offer of a moment of silence at a game to honor a fan who was struck and killed by a foul ball was being turned down.
According to a report from ESPN, Erwin Goldbloom, whose wife Linda was struck in the head by a foul ball in August 2018 and subsequently died from a brain injury, said on Wednesday that he was going to decline the team's offer to honor his wife's memory with a moment of silence at a 2019 game. Goldbloom said that the team contacted the family's attorney to inquire, but that Goldbloom doesn't want a ceremony in Linda's name until the team commits to more protection for fans in the ballpark.
"We don't need their sympathy. We want action," Goldbloom said. "If they agree to make changes to improve safety for fans, then I'll go down there."
Goldbloom's lawyer said that there had been no further contact from the team after he conveyed his client's response to them. Previously, the family had reached a settlement agreement with the team over Linda Goldbloom's death, the details of which are protected by a confidentiality clause.
Married for 59 years, the Goldblooms attended a Dodgers game against the San Diego Padres on August 25, 2018, sitting in the loge section where they had held partial season tickets for years. A Padres player fouled off a pitch to the first-base side of the plate, which sailed just over the protective netting meant to provide safety for the fans in attendance, and the ball struck Linda Goldbloom. She was immediately attended to by stadium medical staff, and then transported to the hospital. The 79-year-old died four days later, on August 29, leaving behind her husband Erwin, three children, and seven grandchildren.
For its part, the team didn't make the tragedy public. ESPN in February obtained a coroner's report that listed Linda Goldbloom's cause of death as "acute intracranial hemorrhage due to [a] history of blunt force trauma" as a result of being struck with the baseball.
Erwin Goldbloom and his daughter shared a letter they sent to Major League Baseball officials, asking the league to raise the height requirement of safety netting and to establish a fund to aid injured fans and their families, as well as another letter they sent to the Major League Baseball Players Association asking them to support the effort.
The league acknowledged the had received the letter, and that they were aware that the Dodgers were working with the family. The Players Association issued a statement as well, saying they have long "advocated for increased use of netting and other measures to improve fan safety at games."