Monday 5 December 2016

'Hopefully everything’s okay' – Mother hit by broken baseball bat 'expected to survive'

Published 08/06/2015 | 07:53

Tonya Carpenter was sitting behind the visitors’ on-deck circle at Fenway Park Friday when she was struck by a shattered bat.
Tonya Carpenter was sitting behind the visitors’ on-deck circle at Fenway Park Friday when she was struck by a shattered bat.

The baseball star whose bat flew into the stands and left a fan in critical condition has said his thoughts are with the mother and her family at this difficult time.

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Tonya Carpenter was sitting behind the visitors’ on-deck circle at Fenway Park Friday night watching the Red Sox take on the Oakland Athletics with a man and her son.

During the second inning, Brett Lawrie shattered his bat on a groundout and struck Carpenter in the head. Carpenter immediately began to bleed profusely, as medical personnel rushed to her aid. Her condition was described as "critical" but a hospital spokesperson said she remained stable on Saturday and is "expected to survive".

‘‘Hopefully everything’s OK, and she’s doing all right,” Lawrie said after the incident.

Boston Red Sox medical personnel tend to the woman who was hit by a wooden shard off a broken bat at Fenway Park, Boston (AP)
Boston Red Sox medical personnel tend to the woman who was hit by a wooden shard off a broken bat at Fenway Park, Boston (AP)

‘‘I’ve seen bats fly out of guys’ hands in(to) the stands and everyone’s OK, but when one breaks like that, has jagged edges on it, anything can happen.’’

The incident has led to some suggesting that the Baseball Rule in the United States needs to be changed.

The rule states that stadium owners and operators are not responsible for injuries sustained by foul balls or pieces of shattered bats, so long as netted or screened seats are in place for a reasonable number of spectators.

The onus is on the fans to be alert during the game.

“The Baseball Rule is ripe for change,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, told The Boston Globe.

“The immunity the baseball rule has provided to baseball has to be tossed out.”

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