Dodgers Stadium to Improve Safety Netting After Fan Struck by Foul Ball

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On a scale of 1 to 10, Kaitlyn Salazar said her pain was at an 11 after taking a foul ball to the head off the bat of Cody Bellinger.

The Dodgers now say they’re studying how to improve the protective netting.

Kaitlyn Salazar speaks to KTLA on June 24, 2019 after being struck by a foul ball at a Dodgers game the day before. (Credit: KTLA)
Kaitlyn Salazar speaks to KTLA on June 24, 2019 after being struck by a foul ball at a Dodgers game the day before. (Credit: KTLA)

Kaitlyn Salazar, 13, was hit Sunday and taken to a hospital for precautionary tests. On Monday, the team said in a statement that it began looking last offseason into how the netting at Dodger Stadium could be reconfigured.

The team said it will put the recommended changes into effect and extend the netting. The Dodgers provided no timeline or details on possible changes.

Salazar was sitting four rows from the field along the first-base line, just beyond the netting that extends to the end of the visiting dugout. She was alert and answering questions after the incident in the first inning.

Salazar suffered a concussion, and spoke to KTLA on Monday.

“I had to use the restroom and my sister wanted more food, and as I’m starting to go over, my mom says, ‘oh, can you take this box up there?’ So I’m getting ready to grab the box and…”

Salazar immediately fell into her father’s arms.

“I didn’t have time to think,” her mom, Roxie, said. “It was all about her and making sure that she was ok.”

Kaitlyn Salazar is escorted on a stretcher after she was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Cody Bellinger on June 23. (Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)
Kaitlyn Salazar is escorted on a stretcher after she was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Cody Bellinger on June 23. (Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Stadium paramedics rushed to her and helped get her to a hospital. Tests showed she suffered a concussion.

“My head really hurt, to be honest. That was the only thing I could feel. My head hurts, and I can’t see out of my right eye,” she said.

Kaitlyn’s father, Carlos, chalked it up to bad luck.

“Wrong time, wrong place. It was just very bad luck because we were just beyond the net,” he said.

A woman died last August after being struck in the head by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium.

Beginning last season, all 30 MLB teams extended their protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts after several fans were injured by foul balls in 2017.

Earlier this month, a female fan attending a Chicago White Sox game was struck by a ball off the bat of Eloy Jimènez. She was treated at a hospital and released. The White Sox then said they will extend protective netting all the way to the foul poles at their ballpark.

In May, a liner by Albert Almora Jr. of the Chicago Cubs struck a young girl in Houston in May. Both she and the woman in Chicago were sitting in the stands beyond the dugout on the third base side.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week he did not expect teams to make changes to the netting at ballparks this season, but that he expected conversations to continue about whether netting should be extended.

For now, Kaitlyn is still a Dodgers fan, but she’ll be cheering for the Boys in Blue from home.

“For the rest of the season, I’ll be on the couch watching it from the safety of my home, not getting hit,” Kaitlyn said with a laugh. “No offense to the Dodgers or anything, but I think I’m just gonna take a little break from baseball.”

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