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