A Chicago Cubs slugger was reduced to tears Wednesday night after an errant ball he hit zoomed afield and struck a little girl sitting in the stands.
Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. “hit a line drive into the field-level stands down the third base line, where the girl sat. His reaction was instant.
“Almora put his hands on his head, eventually falling to his knees near home plate. He was consoled by teammate Jason Hayward and manager Joe Maddon.”
The 25-year-old father of two was visibly shaken by the accident and was nearly inconsolable for several minutes after the incident.
“Almora says he immediately locked eyes with the girl hit by a foul ball off his bat during the fourth inning of the game against the Houston Astros Wednesday night.”
Questions have arisen over whether or not Major League Baseball is doing enough to secure the safety of its fans during games, where balls can reach speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Houston Astros stadium has made recent improvements to safety in recent years, but it wasn't enough to keep Wednesday night's tragic accident from happening.
“Like all Major League Stadiums, Minute Maid Park, where the Astros play, has protective netting near the field to protect fans from foul balls.
“In February 2017, the Astros added expanded netting from dugout to dugout, reaching 12 feet in height. The netting also increased in height behind the backstop, reaching a maximum height of 32 feet.”
Still, in light of this tragic event, many are clamoring for even more. Some are even recommending that the entire stadium be netted.
It was reported that the little girl who was injured by Almora’s foul ball was sitting in the third or fourth row, just a few feet past where the netting ends.
The Astros organization issued a statement about the incident.”Our thoughts are with the entire family.”
"I'm just praying. I'm speechless." As a father of two, Albert Almora Jr. was visibly distraught and said he knew instantly the ball hit someone. "God willing I'll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life.”
Originally from Hialeah Florida, Almora has strong ties to baseball. His father played for the major leagues in his native Cuba and has close friends among American MLB players. Almora usually plays center field for the Cubs.
“He signed with the Cubs after being selected in the first round by the team out of Mater Academy Charter in Hialeah Gardens, Florida, in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.”
As Almora told reporters Wednesday night, he's a father of two boys AJ, who was born in 2016, and Antino, who was born last October.
MLB is also weighing in ... telling TMZ Sports, "The events at last night’s game were extremely upsetting. We send our best wishes to the child and family involved.”
No details on the little girl's condition have been released except to say that she was injured and taken to a nearby hospital.
Please join us in sending prayers for her complete recovery.