I don’t know how it doesn’t happen more often.

The most terrifying moments in sports do not occur on a football field, where giant gladiators collide with reckless abandon, or on a hockey rink’s ice with rugged men routinely exchanging punches to the face.

It doesn’t happen inside a boxing ring or the pentagon at a mixed martial arts fight, and it has nothing to do with wrestling, rugby or

soccer.

The absolute scariest moments in all of sports happen on the diamond, and Wednesday, it happened again.

A young girl was struck in the face by a line drive, foul ball believed to be traveling over 100 miles per hour during a New York Yankees’ home game against the Minnesota Twins.

The toddler was bloodied and could potentially need surgery after Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier’s swing turned tragic, sending the ball down the third-base side of the field and into the stands.

Just the thought of it is gut wrenching, especially for anyone with a child.

But fans are not the only ones at risk.

In addition to the countless foul balls that find their way into the stands, infielders and particularly pitchers, are in major jeopardy with every swing of the bat.

Lets face it — players and even fans have virtually no reaction time when a ball is hit directly at them, and unfortunately, sometimes they connect.

Considering the sheer amount of games — both baseball and softball — that are played across the country each year, I honestly don’t know how this issue is avoided as much as it is.

But even one incident is too many.

Regardless of the statistics, the consequences are far too severe to take any chances.

I’ve witnessed enough of the gruesome replays on television when it happens at the college or professional level, and I’ve heard the sickening thud in person at high school games.

I am a firm believer that most players and definitely all pitchers should wear some type of facemask for protection, especially at the amateur level, but that does little to help prevent occurrences like the one Wednesday in New York.

It has promoted conversations about fan safety, though.

Discussions about extending protective netting to help enclose fans from the on-field action are a hot topic on the heels of this latest tragedy, and while I hope results are produced, I’m disappointed it came to this point.

This is nothing new. These types of accidents have been occurring for as long as the game has been played.

If options were explored earlier, it might have prevented a little girl’s suffering in New York.

These are the most terrifying moments in sports, and I don’t know how they don’t happen more often.

All I know is that I never want them to happen again.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.