“You can’t get away from a screaming line drive coming at you. You can’t. There’s less than a second reaction time,” Dina Simpson said.
Simpson is among a growing number of people hit by stray balls at stadiums all over the country. A toddler is recovering after being hit in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
She was near the third base dugout in a section with no protective netting. She should be alright.
Simpson was hurt at a Lake County Captains game. She wants more netting to protect fans.
“My children were right next to me. I thank God every day it was me and not them,” Simpson said.
She said she was hit by a baseball traveling more than 100 miles per hour at Classic Park in Eastlake on May 20.
“I’ve lost my vision permanently in my eye, I have nerve damage in my head. I have numbness here all around my eye, my lip. My dentist says years down the road my teeth may die and I’ll need root canals,” Simpson said.
Simpsons said she had a broken nose, a concussion and broken orbital bones. Not only is Simpson blind in her right eye from the foul ball, she’s afraid to drive at night. She only does it in emergencies, even then she’s very fearful of that.
“For the rest of my life now I’m going to be blind and that’s hard,” Simpson said. “I’ve already talked to the mayor of our city about it. So, it’s something we’re definitely exploring.”
General Manager for the Lake County Captains Neil Stein said they’ve talked about extending netting, he said safety at his ballpark is very important.
“We have stickers on the back of our seats about fan safety, about paying attention at all times. We have our ticket back language. We do a pregame video about rules and regulations for the ballpark and we reference it several times,” Stein said.
In a statement the Cleveland Indians said they’re following rules from the commissioner’s office on how much netting to put up and where it goes.
Statement from the Indians
“We expanded netting to run from the beginning of each dugout closest to home plate. Additionally, the canopy that protected the top of seating sections behind home plate will be extended.”
“But it needs to be farther. At least to the other end of the dugout, the far end or like I said optimal be to the foul poles,” Simpson.
Simpson’s husband Scott Simpson said she is going to fight to get more netting in ballparks around the country.
“The ball hit the right person because Dina will fight forever to make sure something’s done,” her husband said.
Dina Simpson said her whole life has changed because she went to a baseball game and got hit in the eye. She vows to do what she can to greatly reduce it happening to other baseball fans just out to enjoy one of America’s favorite sports, baseball.
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