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A one-year-old girl attending a Yankees game was hit by a baseball in the face.
The girl was immediately taken to a hospital. According to her father, her eyes were swollen shut and she received multiple fractures on her face. The doctors cannot tell yet whether she would need surgery or say for sure whether her eyesight would return to normal.
Despite these injuries, the girl’s father did not appeal for his daughter; he only urged the Yankees to extend their stadium’s netting to better protect the spectators. This is because, according to the “Baseball Rule,” baseball teams cannot be held responsible for their fans.
The Baseball Rule is an unspoken rule saying that whenever fans go to a match, they acknowledge its dangers and promise to take responsibility for themselves.
In a rare occasion of breaking this rule, a baseball fan sued the Yankees in 2011. The fan, who is also a lawyer, was hit in the face during a rainy match. People had their umbrellas open, so it was difficult for him to see the oncoming ball. His injuries caused permanent damage to his eyesight. He lost the case, but he has made another appeal.
Aside from the cases above, there have been many other fans who have gotten injured from baseball matches. Due to these instances, extending netting in baseball stadiums has become a subject of debate. While better netting would sufficiently protect audiences, some fans pay a huge amount to get a seat with a good view unobstructed by netting. In fact, some fans even try to catch loose balls as memorabilia.