Fallout from Albert Almora Jr.'s scary foul ball incident
On May 29, 2019, a foul ball off the bat of Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a young girl in the stands at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The young girl was rushed to the hospital and her family later revealed she suffered several head injuries as a result. The moment brought forth league-wide changes to protect fans from injury.
One year later, here is a timeline of key dates in the fallout from the incident.
May 29, 2019
Almora lines a ball into the stands on the third base side of Minute Maid Park, striking a 2-year-old girl. The toddler was immediately rushed to the hospital, leaving players from both the Cubs and Astros shaken.
Almora, a father of two, was visibly distraught at the incident, putting his hands on his head seeing exactly where the ball was going off his bat.
"That's probably what sucked the most," Almora said after the game. "It's just the way life is. As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her."
Albert Almora reacts to fan hit by foul ball
May 31, 2019
Speaking from St. Louis ahead of a Cubs-Cardinals game, Almora calls for MLB to add further protection for fans in the stands to ensure such an incident never happens again.
"I hope this never happens again, so whatever the league has to do to make that happen, [do it]" Almora said at Busch Stadium. "I don't think any kid that goes to a baseball game with their parents or whoever should worry about making it out unhealthy or whatever the case may be.
“I don't think that should ever cross their mind. Whatever the league needs to do to do that, that should be in place."
Cubs' Albert Almora Jr: 'I hope this never happens again'
June 18, 2019
The White Sox announce they will extend their protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field to each foul pole. They became the first MLB team to make the move, and the extension was officially unveiled on July 22.
June 26, 2019
The family of the girl struck by the foul ball announces she suffered a skull fracture, brain contusions, bleeding, seizures and other injuries as a result.
Aug. 16, 2019
The Cubs demote Almora to Triple-A Iowa, recalling him Sept. 1. Although he has since admitted the moment in Houston impacted him, he refuses to blame his performance on it. He hit .215 with a .570 OPS from May 30 through the end of the season.
Dec. 11, 2019
At MLB’s winter meetings, commissioner Rob Manfred announces all 30 teams will expand protective netting “substantially beyond the end" of both dugouts. It was not required by rule, but all 30 teams agreed it was the right thing to do.
Because the way certain ballparks are structured, some teams did not extend to each foul pole, but rather towards the elbow of the foul lines.
Jan 7, 2020
The attorney representing the young girl’s family announces she has a permanent brain injury. Richard Mithoff said the girl “remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life.”
Mithoff added the injury affects the girl’s central nervous system like how a stroke would.
Jan. 18, 2020
The Cubs announce at their fan festival they will be extending Wrigley Field’s netting to the ballpark’s elbows (near where the old on-field bullpens were). President of business operations Crane Kenney said the netting would be in place by Opening Day.