Fan injured in 7th during #Cubs game at Wrigley

A fan was carried out of Wrigley Field on a stretcher after being accidentally hit by a bat in the seventh
inning during the Cubs game against the Pirates.

Addison Russell, making his Wrigley Field debut, swung at a fastball and the bat slipped out of his hands and into the
seats near the Cubs dugout.

“It just slipped,” Russell said. “I saw a fastball and wanted to hit it and the bat slipped. I saw it connect with his
face. I felt so bad. Words can’t describe how bad I feel.

“I found the bat in my locker so if you see that guy out there, I’m willing to give him a bat and sign it,” Russell said.
“I feel terribly bad about it.”

While the two teams resumed play, medical staff tended to the fan. Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney, who was sitting a few rows in front of where the accident occurred, got some towels from the dugout.

Was it tough to focus on the game again?

“Some things you just have to block out,” Russell said. “Whenever the bat was in mid flight, in my mind I’m screaming,
‘Watch out, watch out,’ and then I saw the dude’s glasses fly, and it just wasn’t pretty. I feel really bad.”

The Cubs issued a statement, saying the patient was transported to first aid, then transferred to an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital. According to the Cubs, the patient was “conscious and communicating with staff while being transported from the stands.”

“It’s awful,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “What I see is that I never want my kids sitting unprotected, even though it’s

a good seat.”

Maddon recalls a Minor League game in the Quad Cities in 1976 when he was catching and a father and son were sitting to the left of the screen behind home plate. The young boy was struck in the face by a foul ball. Maddon says he’s never forgotten that incident.

“You come to the game, please pay attention,” Maddon said. “It’s a crazy game, things fly in the stands. It’s awful but we
all know it can happen.”

— Carrie Muskat

12 comments

  1. Pingback: Fan injured in 7th during #Cubs game at Wrigley - Cubs Chronicles
  2. Mat B

    Bats flying out of hitters’ hands never used to happen. I blame it on batters leaving their bottom hand hanging below the knob. They should be required to hold the bat with all of both hands, and if they let the bat go flying, the batter should be out. No exceptions.

    • petrey10

      never used to happen? How can you back this up? never is a long time and I am sure it happened in the past. Its an accident. Should a batter be out for hitting a hard foul ball and hitting the fan? Should he be out for his broken bat flying in the stands? The temperature when this happened was 42-44 degrees. I was at the game… it was chilly and it could of happened to any batter there. Have you ever played baseball in cold weather? Its one of the hardest sports to play in the cold…. your hands take a beating. Try hitting a 95 mph fast ball when you get jammed in cold weather and see how that feels. Or try blocking a ball as a catcher when you are freezing and then come in here chirping about blaming the players for this.

      • Mat B

        I was the equivalent of a gym rat. I played baseball with snow on the ground and a bat never flew out of my hands, nor did I ever see a bat fly out of someone’s hands. All they have to do is grip the bat with both hands. I’m not valid for ejection, just an out.

      • Mat B

        I don’t care if it goes in the stands. I don’t care if anyone means to do it. Of course they don’t. It is something that should be addressed. The only ones off base here is anyone who won’t agree that it is something that needs to be addressed before someone gets killed.

      • Petrey10

        Your slow weak swing does not require the same force of a 100+ mph swing of Addison Russell …. If you want something fixes and addressed them call for more screening on the fields … That’s protection… Calling someone out for this type of accident is asinine

    • fonzie5430

      Let’s also eject a player for airmailing a throw into the stands??? Or….all fans should be mandated to wear helmets, like the base coaches or bats should be tethered to batters’ wrists and can only be removed once reaching base safely. Really???? It’s baseball, balls enter the stands, bats fly out of batters hands, players collide with spectators while attempting catches, and Bartman “interferes” with Alou catching a ball which FORCED the Cubs to lose the game. Well, maybe MLB can take note of the White Sox / Baltimore game today and ban fans from the stadiums so the chance of a bat hitting anybody is absolutely eliminated. One has to wonder…safer to fly or go to a MLB game??? Yeesh.

      • Mat B

        A bad throw, a broken bat, and a foul ball are far different than flinging your bat into the stands. It may have happened a few times in the seventies, but you can’t tell me it that it is not far worse than what it was when players gripped the bay with both hands. I’m not saying that they should be ejected. I’m just during they should be out.

      • Petrey10

        Ya he probably meant to fling it in stands…. And not every batter doesn’t use one hand … Ur way off base sorry

      • fonzie5430

        We just disagree Mat B. Calling a player out for something that cannot be determined as an intentional act is ludicrous. Accidents happen in the workplace, at public gatherings, bathtubs…pretty much in most places. To make this particular scenario a crusade is going too far. On the upside, the vigilant fan gets a souvenir, the not so vigilant van gets an injury. Children, elderly, impaired fans will hopefully be accompanied by some vigilant well wishers/guardians and the game will go on as usual with a minimum if not rare rate of bat related injuries.

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