A 79-year-old woman died last August after being struck in the head by a foul ball during a game at Dodger Stadium, ESPN Outside the Lines reports.
Per a coroner’s report, Linda Goldbloom died of “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma,” stemming from a line drive during a game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25.
The foul ball reportedly came in the ninth inning off the bat of a Padres player during a plate appearance against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Goldbloom had been sitting in the stadium’s Loge Level, the level above field level, just above the area protected by netting on the first-base side. Per the story, Goldbloom was not on her phone.
No media outlet reported on the event, and the Dodgers stayed silent about it. Both the team and Goldbloom’s family would not tell ESPN if any legal action or agreement had been struck in the aftermath of the incident.
Third documented case of fan dying after being hit by ball
Per ESPN, this is the third reported case of a fan in the stands dying after being hit in the head with a foul ball, and the first such case in nearly 50 years. The other two cases are:
Clarence Stagemyer, who died at 32 after being hit in the head by a ball accidentally thrown into the stands by a Washington Senators third baseman at Griffith Stadium on Sept. 29, 1943.
Alan Fish, who died at 14 after being struck by a foul line drive near the first-base dugout at Dodger Stadium during a game against the San Francisco Giants on May 16, 1970.
Even more protective netting at games?
Goldbloom’s death occurred during the first season in which all 30 MLB teams were required to use extended netting to protect fans from dangerous foul balls, a development that came after a 2-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by a foul line drive at Yankee Stadium.
This incident will undoubtedly lead to calls to raise and extend the nets even more for 2019 and beyond. Goldbloom’s daughter, Jana Brody, suggested to ESPN that a possible solution could be the system used in Japan, where nets extend all the way to the foul pole, and raising the nets even higher:
“I’d love to see the netting extended vertically, and we know it doesn’t block the view,” said Brody. “Raise it a little higher — what’s the hurt in that?”
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