Chicago Cubs player Albert Almora Jr. had to be comforted by his own teammates, as well as Astros teammates and Minute Maid Park security after the outfielder lined a foul ball into the stands and struck a small child in the head.
As Chicago’s WGN-TV reports, Almora was at the plate in the Cubs’ half of the fourth inning when he lined a foul ball that managed to avoid the netting that protects against untoward incidents, and went screaming into the stands. The ball struck a young child, identified only as a young girl; her age remains unclear. A man who was with her, possibly a parent, picked her up and ran from the stands, carrying her.
Almora was visibly shaken by the event, falling to his knees and sobbing as fellow Cubs players tried to comfort him. The game was stopped for a couple of minutes as the situation was sorted out, with players from both teams taking in a knee in support of the injured fan.
After the inning ended, Almora was still in an emotionally fragile state. He ran over to the section of the stands where the girl had been seated to check on her. Still sobbing, he was comforted again by his teammates, and even by an Astros security employee. He continued to sob as he entered the Cubs dugout.
You can watch a video of the incident below, but be warned, it contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was at the game, not far from where the injured fan was seated. He was able to provide an update, via Yahoo Sports.
“Down in the Cubs dugout, they were told that the child who was stuck is awake, is conscious and is on the way to the hospital. That information was confirmed by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, whose source told him that the child is getting care at a local hospital. Jesse asked his source if the signs were positive, and he was told that they were,” Passan said.
After the game, Almora said, via Houston’s KPRC-TV, that he was “speechless,” choking back tears the entire time.
“Being a father of two boys… I want to put a net around the whole stadium.”
He also said, via The Houston Chronicle, that he hopes to meet the young girl once she’s healthy enough to receive visitors, saying he hopes to have a relationship with her for the rest of his life.
As of this writing, the girl’s name and her condition have not been released.