A 79-year-old grandmother was struck in the head by a foul ball at an August 25 game at Dodger Stadium, and died days later from “acute intracranial hemorrhage,” reports ESPN’s Outside the Lines. The victim, Linda Goldbloom, was sitting above the protective netting extending from behind home plate down the first baseline when the accident occurred:
The accident happened in the top of the ninth inning, when San Diego’s Franmil Reyes fouled back a 93 mph pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. The ball was hit a little to the first-base side of home plate, it sailed into the Loge Level — just over the area protected by netting — and it struck Goldbloom’s head as she sat in section 106, row C, seat 5.
Jana Brody, Goldbloom’s daughter, told OTL that EMTs took her mother from the stadium soon after she was hit, and that Goldbloom vomited in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. She was reportedly taken into emergency brain surgery at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, but was thereafter unresponsive, and died on August 29.
The reach and expansion of protective netting in ballparks has been a subject of mild controversy among baseball fans since the league issued a series of recommendations aimed at improving fan safety following the 2015 season. Teams were slow to adopt the recommendations—in 2017 a young girl was hit in the face by a scorching liner off the bat of Todd Frazier at Yankee Stadium, where protective netting had not yet been extended to meet MLB’s new guidelines. The 2018 season was the first in which all 3o MLB teams had netting that extended at least to the end of both dugouts, but even that relatively minor development drew criticism, notably from an especially shit-headed New York Times op-ed, which pinned responsibility for MLB’s perfectly sensible safety emphasis on the popularity of smart phones. Here it is worth noting that, according to Brody, Goldbloom didn’t own a smart phone, and was not using her flip phone when she was struck.
ESPN reports that Goldbloom’s death is the third reported instance in MLB’s history of a fan being killed by a ball that left the field of play, and the first since 1970. The Dodgers, who had not previously commented on Goldbloom’s death (presumably because her death had not previously been reported) said that this matter “has been resolved between the Dodgers and the Goldbloom family.” Here’s the full report.