Posted by: Bob Gorman | November 18, 2021

Correction to Death at the Ballpark

Raymond “Pete” Mann, third baseman for Macon (GA) Peaches, was killed when struck below his heart by a pitched ball in a game against the Asheville (NC) Tourists on July 13, 1927. His age and place of birth listed on page 33 of Death at the Ballpark incorrectly gives his age as 20 and his home town as Terre Haute, IN. He was actually 27 years old at the time of his death and was from West Terre Haute, IN. Thanks go to James Mann for providing the correct information.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | October 20, 2021

Woman and Child Die in Fall at Petco Park

Raquel Wilkins, 40, and her two-year-old son, Denzel Browning-Wilkins, died in a fall at Petco Park in San Diego, CA, shortly before a game between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves on September 25, 2021. According to witnesses, Ms. Wilkins was holding her child while standing on the bench of a picnic table when she fell over a nearby railing on the third-level concourse, landing on the sidewalk along Tony Gwynn Drive nearly six stories below. Police later ruled the deaths a suicide and a homicide.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | February 6, 2020

Roger Maris Book Now Available

My book on Roger Maris and the 1961 season has just been published.  Copies can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or directly from the publisher, McFarland (

Posted by: Bob Gorman | August 15, 2019

Man Dies During Taco-Eating Contest

Dana Andrew Hutchings, 41, began choking during a taco-eating contest held at a Fresno Grizzlies game on August 14.  Stadium medical staff attended to the man who had food lodged in his throat, but he passed away about 30 minutes later.  The team cancelled a championship taco-eating event schedule for Saturday, August 17.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | August 5, 2019

Fan Injuries in 2019

Many thanks to Andy Zlotnick for compiling the following list of incidents

2019 Major League & Minor League Fan Injuries:

This season there have been 15 fans injured at Major League Baseball games and 4 at Minor League games from foul balls or flying bats as reported in the press and on social media.

1.  On March 31, a 21–month-old girl was struck by a Bryce Harper foul ball at a Phillies game. Lily DiWilliams was struck on the right side of her head in the fifth inning and was taken to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. A CT scan came back negative but she suffered from tissue swelling.

2  .On May 25th, Christi Milledge was hit in the face and lost several of her teeth when she was hit sitting in left field box seats past third base at a Charlotte Knights game against the Durham Bulls. She lost consciousness and was transported by medics to Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center for emergency treatment. She received stitches both inside and outside her mouth, had a dental implant and sustained a concussion.

3.  On May 29th, in a moment that galvanized national attention once again on the danger in stadiums, a small child was injured and hospitalized when a sharply hit line drive off the bat of Albert Almora, Jr. struck her in the head at a game between the Astros and the Cubs at Minute Maid Park. She was seated just past the visitor’s dugout down the left-field line where there is no protective netting. Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos turned his head away. Almora took several steps toward his dugout, then dropped to his knees. He had to be consoled by Manager Joe Maddon and his teammate Jason Heyward as the girl, who had a yellow bow in her hair and was crying, was carried away for treatment. girl sustained a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and seizures according to a lawyer hired by her family.

4.  On May 31st, a child was hit in the in the face and his eye was swollen shut at a Biloxi Shuckers game against the Tennessee Smokies. The child was hospitalized with an orbital blowout fracture requiring surgery.

5.  In early June, a young father lost his eye at a Mariners game in Seattle. He was sitting in left field box seats past third base and the protective netting. The man is a cancer survivor and a military veteran. He had surgery in July to remove the eye. He has been recovering and hasn’t spoken to the press, nor have they reported his story.

6.  On June 1st, a child sitting along the first base line at an Indianapolis Cubs game was hit and treated by EMT personnel before he was taken from the ballpark on a gurney to the hospital.


7.  On June 10th, a woman was struck by a foul ball in the head off the bat of Eloy Jimenez at a White Sox/Nationals game at Guaranteed Rate Field. She was bleeding around the head and hospitalized. https://chicag/


8.  On June 14th, Traci Nabors had her jaw broken in 3 spots when she was hit by a foul ballwhile sitting down the third base line at an Astros game at Minute Maid Park. She alsosuffered a broken tooth. She was wheeled out to the medical room at the ballpark and taken to a hospital where her jaw was wired shut. “I look at it and it could have killed me,” she said. “I don’t know many people who can get out of the way of a ball going that fast.”


9.  On June 17th, a young boy was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Starling Castro at a Cardinals game against the Marlins at Busch Stadium.


10.  Also on June 17th, an older man was hit in the face by a Jason Kipnis “rocket foul ball” at an Indians game against the Rangers at Global Life Park. He was treated by medical personnel and escorted out of the ballpark.


11.  On June 23rd, Cody Bellinger “smoked a foul ball down the first base line” at a Dodgers game against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. The ball struck 13 year-old Kaitlyn Salazarwho was hit in the head and she was taken out on a stretcher and hospitalized.


12.  On June 29th, Matthew Dherbes was hit in the ribs by a line drive foul ball struck by Seattle’s Kyle Seager. The ball bounced off a seat at an Astros game against the Mariners at Minute Maid Park. He reported being sore but alright.


13.  On July 13th, a woman received immediate medical attention after being struck in the head by a foul ball in the top of the third inning at Fenway Park in a game between the Red Sox and the Dodgers.


14.  On July 14th, the Royals organization says it will once again “continue to evaluate” safety measures at Kauffman Stadium after a fan was hit in the head by a foul ball over the weekend. The fan was a young girl who was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Detroit Tigers outfielder Christin Stewart in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game. Medical staff could be seen tending to the girl after the incident. She was conscious and talking to the medical staff. “There was a little kid, kinda got smoked in the face a little bit, was crying. Game kind of stopped for a little bit,” said Royals catcher Cam Gallagher. “Tough to watch.”


15.  On July 20th, the Rays’ Joey Wendle lined a foul ball that hit a woman at TropicanaField in the left field seats. The foul ball soared around the protective netting, deflected off a barrier and struck the woman on the right side of her forehead. She was taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair for further treatment. One TropicanaField employee “noted that he sees incidents like this about a half a dozen times every year.


16.  On July 21st, for the second night in a row at Tampa’s Tropicana Field, Avisail Garcia lost his bat sending it sailing over the protective netting and into the stands striking Robert Lyons. “It flew over the net and was moving so fast,” Lyons said. “There was no way I was going to stand up and grab it.” Lyons was unhurt.


17.  On July 20th a child was sent to the hospital after being struck by a foul ball at the Indians game at Progressive Field. Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor was at-bat in the sixth inning when he hit a foul ball into the crowd just past the edge of the netting by first base, which then struck the boy. Lindor looked distraught as he took an extra few minutes before heading back to the plate. The boy was transported to a nearby hospital by private transport. “It sucks. I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down. I know it’s all about the fans’ experience of interacting with players and I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the fans, getting autographs and stuff, but at the end of the day we want to make sure everybody comes out of this game healthy and we gotta do something about it.” Lindor said. “It sucks. Everybody feels bad, and if we can put the nets a little bit further down I think it wouldbe a lot better.”


18.  On July 27th a fan was struck in the face by a foul ball during a Royals game against the Indian at Kauffman Stadium. The woman was sitting beyond the netting — which extends just to the dugouts — and was drilled in the face after Indians outfielder Greg Allen hit foul into the stands during the seventh inning. Event and medical staff rushed to the woman, who could be seen bleeding and holding her face.



19.  On July 30th, Tonni Cannady was struck in the head and suffered a concussion when a bat sailed over the dugout and past protective netting at an Oklahoma City Dodgers minor le ague game. “I saw something coming and tried to get out of its way, but I couldn’t,” she said. “It’ s the hardest thing I have been hit with by anything.” She was taken a nearby hospital and received staples in her scalp for lacerations.

Teams That Have Extended Protective Netting:   Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Cleburne Railroaders, Lincoln Salt Dogs, Kane County Cougars, Ft. Wayne Tin Caps, Burlington Bees, Quad Cities River Bandits, El Paso Chihuahuas

Teams That Have Announced Extending Protective Netting:   Kansas City Royals – Perhaps this Season, Texas Rangers – 2020 Season, Baltimore Orioles – 2020 Season, Pittsburgh Pirates – No date announced yet, Los Angeles Dodgers – August 2019, Wichita Baby Cakes – 2020 Season, Fresno Grizzlies – 2020 Season, Round Rock Express – 2020 Season, Iowa Cubs – 2020 season

Posted by: Bob Gorman | July 16, 2019

Where Are the Most Dangerous Seats in the Ballpark?

All major league ballparks have now extended their protective netting to at least the far ends of their dugouts; a few have extended them even further.  The assumption is that fans seated in the most dangerous areas are now protected from screaming line drives and pinwheeling bats.  As recent fan injuries have tragically demonstrated, that assumption is a false one.  Spectators are still being struck by balls and bats at an alarming rate.  A recent study by conclusively proved that those field-level sections immediately beyond the dugouts – areas that are still unprotected in most stadiums – are indeed the most dangerous.  Researchers looked at 906 foul balls in ten major league venues and here is what they found:

The scariest foul balls are those with high exit velocities, particularly the line drives, which give spectators only seconds — or fractions of a second — to react. Statcast was able to measure exit velocities for 580 of the 906 foul balls in our data set, and most of the hardest-hit of those 580 landed in areas that are primarily unprotected. Of the fly balls with recorded exit velocities of 90 mph or higher, 71.8 percent landed in zones 4 and 5 (see diagram below).  And all of the line drives that left the bat at 90 mph or more landed in those same zones.

It is long past time for MLB and MiLB to do the right thing by their fans and extend the netting all the way to the foul poles.  Anything less is unconscionable.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | April 10, 2019

Baseball Coach and Wife Electrocuted

Corey Crum, 39, Liberty County (FL) High School baseball coach and his wife, Shana Crum, 41, were both electrocuted on March 10, 2019, while installing a new scoreboard on the school’s baseball field in Bristol.  He was operating a boom lift when it came into contact with nearby powerlines.  His wife was electrocuted when she came to the aid of her husband.  Their 14-year-old son was also injured, but survived the accident.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | February 18, 2019

Dodgers Fan Killed by Foul Ball

Linda Goldbloom, 78, was seated with her husband in the loge level just to the first-base side of home plate during an August 25, 2018, game at Dodger Stadium when a sharply-hit foul ball in the top of ninth inning flew just over the top of the protective screening, striking her on the head.  She was rushed to an area hospital where she remained in a coma until her death on August 29.  The cause of death was listed as “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma.”  Hers was the second recorded fatality in the major leagues due to a foul ball.  The first was also at Dodger Stadium.  On May 16, 1970, 14-year-old Alan Fish was struck on his head by a foul ball off the bat of Manny Mota; he youngster passed away on the afternoon of May 20.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | July 30, 2018

Man Dies in Ballpark Beer Cooler

Todd Keeling, 48, was found dead inside a beer cooler he was installing at SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves stadium, on June 26, 2018.  Keeling had been working overnight to install his patented beer-pouring device when his body was discovered by a coworker the next day.  His death is under investigation.

Posted by: Bob Gorman | July 30, 2018

Woman Kills Man with Car on Baseball Field

Carol Sharrow, 51, is accused of manslaughter after she broke through a fence with her car and drove onto a baseball field in Sanford, ME, on June 1, 2018, striking and killing Doug Parkhurst, 68, while a youth baseball game was in progress. In an aside note, Parkhurst had confessed in 2013 to a hit-and-run incident in 1968 in which he killed a 4-year-old girl in Fulton, NY.  There was no apparent connection between the two incidents.

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