Marc LaMacchia knows how dangerous a foul ball into the stands can be.
“You can consider it almost like a bullet,” he said.
The Eastlake High School grad made it all the way to the major leagues with the Rangers and Marlins.
Now he coaches kids around Tampa Bay.
When this father of three saw a young girl hit Wednesday night at Yankees stadium, he couldn’t help but think of his own children.
The 2-year-old girl is still hospitalized and is in satisfactory condition.
That ball was traveling 105 miles per hour.
Her father said it’s too early to tell if she’ll need surgery.
“I was just like the guys on television, just heart broken for her and her family,” he said.
LaMacchia was just at the Rays-Cubs game two nights ago, and was watching his 4-year-old son very closely, always aware a foul ball could come their way.
“You’ve got people that are so excited about sitting as close to the field as possible, and I think that’s the last thing on their mind,” he said.
Major league baseball only requires protective netting up to the dugouts.
That’s how it is at most stadiums including Tropicana Field.
Only ten teams have gone beyond that, extending the net to the ends of each dugout.
The reason some teams are reluctant to add more screen is complaints from fans that it obstructs the view, especially for the higher priced seats along the baselines.
Todd Frazier, the Yankees player who hit the foul ball said the netting should be extended at every stadium.
“I thought of my kids. I have two kids under three years old. I just hope she’s alright,” he said.
“To prevent a future tragedy. Just to get them up. I think it’s a no brainer,” said LaMacchia.
Minor league stadiums we checked with around Tampa Bay have netting that stops at the dugouts just like the Trop.
That includes the Steinbrenner Field, the Spring Training home for the New York Yankees.