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Father of young fan struck by foul ball at Yankee Stadium speaks out

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches to Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees during the third inning at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Last month, a young girl was struck in the face by a Todd Frazier foul ball at Yankee Stadium. Play was halted as the girl received medical attention and was later carried out. Players on the field were clearly shaken up by the incident and several players spoke up after the game about the need to extend protective netting.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the media after the game that the girl “is doing OK,” but otherwise, very few details about her ordeal were made public. Her father, Geoffrey Jacobson, talked to Billy Witz of the New York Times, explaining the ordeal his daughter went through and urging teams to take fan safety into account.

According to the Times, the girl suffered multiple facial fractures -- including her orbital bone and nose -- and doctors were monitoring the bleeding in her brain for the potential of a seizure. When Jacobson walked in, he saw her hooked up to tubes and machines with her eyes swollen shut. She had an imprint of the baseball on her forehead.

Jacobson said part of his decision to talk to the Times was the Yankees’ silence. His only contact with executives was through the public relations office. Until recently, the club hadn’t said much about the incident or announced the extending of protective netting. The Yankees finally announced on Sunday that netting would be extended this offseason. Jacobson said, “It’s what they should have said from Day 1, but I’m happy to hear this. I hope the remaining teams follow suit, because it’s not just about the Yankees.”

Jacobson continued, “You just don’t want it to happen again. No one should have to go through that. It’s a game. It’s like taking to your kids to the mall or the amusement park to the zoo — it’s an activity. It shouldn’t be a place where you could die, and it doesn’t have to be. I get the reasoning and the pressure, but it’s senseless.”

Some have criticized Jacobson’s father, who was letting his granddaughter sit on his lap when Frazier’s foul ball came towards them at 105 MPH. He brought his hand up to shield her, but it grazed off of his hand and it hit her. Jacobson doesn’t blame his father for that, unlike some other people. He said, “There is nothing they could have done in a split second with a ball traveling 105 m.p.h. It’s unfortunate some have targeted them, but we hope they do not carry that burden, because it is not theirs to bear.”

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