Todd Frazier said the young girl whom he accidentally struck with a 105-mph foul ball on Sept. 20 at Yankee Stadium sustained a couple of fractures, but is out of the hospital, “so that’s a good sign.”
Frazier, an advocate for increased netting, is glad that the Yankees have decided to step up and add extra protection to their home ballpark for spectators, starting in the 2018 season.
“Awesome. That’s great,” said Frazier, who was distraught when the incident occurred. “I think not only here, but every team should have it. It’s a good step forward by the Yankees. That’s awesome, what they’re doing. I’m very proud to say I’m playing for this team, and with these changes, it’s really nice.”
Frazier found out about the news after Sunday’s regular-season finale. He has been in constant communication with the young girl’s family, although not recently.
“They kind of want to settle in,” Frazier said. “Get back to normal life a bit, and eventually we’ll hook up here hopefully in the next couple weeks.”
The young girl was sitting on the third-base side with her grandparents when she was hit and transported to a local hospital.
Some fans have been unhappy about the possibility that views might be obstructed, as well as their ability to get balls and autographs from the players.
“I think a lot of fans realize (it’s a good thing), too,” Frazier said. “There’s always going to be some fans that don’t like it, and some fans that do. It’s always going to happen, but it’s the right thing to do. It really is. I think safety first. We used to not have seatbelts, but they save lives, too.”
Frazier said there wasn’t any talk about potentially inviting the family to the team’s wild-card game on Tuesday.
“(Her father) is going to call me when everything is OK, so I’m not going to bother him,” Frazier said. “I’m just going to wait for him to call me, and then we’ll hook up.”
Other Yankees agreed with Frazier.
“That’s good,” Matt Holliday said. “I think most teams will. I think that was a big enough scare that most teams, I would guess, will do that (add netting).”
Added Chase Headley: “Honestly, I hadn’t heard anything about it. But I’m glad, and I think anything that makes the game a little bit safer for the fans is a good thing. I know how hard those balls are hit, and when you can’t see them, and people are diving and ducking out of the way, a lot of fans think they are more capable than they are in that scenario.”
“I think anything that keeps our fans safe is good,” Joe Girardi said. “The ball is extremely hard, and sometimes reaction time isn’t good and sometimes they’re blinded by the fan in front, so anything that keeps them safe, I’m all for.”