In May of 2019, a 2-year-old girl was struck by a foul ball during a Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park. A line drive off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck her in the back of the head.
Almora Jr. watched the flight of his foul ball, took one step toward the scene, then sunk to one knee, distraught, with his face buried in his hands. “As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her,” said Almora.
Following the devastating incident, multiple Cubs players, including Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward, spoke about the need to consider extending protective netting to the foul poles.
“Just for safety, the well-being of people,” said Heyward, who was on deck at the time of the incident and was the first to console the distraught Almora. “People don’t realize how hard it is to react to a baseball. So it would help.
In a report posted in January, an attorney for the girl’s family said the child’s brain injury is permanent. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved,” he said.