Heads-up! Study shows foul balls injure 1,750 fans each year

A fan is escorted from her seat after being struck by a foul ball at a Coors Field game in May.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

According to a study conducted by Bloomberg News, roughly 1,750 spectators get hurt each year by batted balls, typically minor injuries like bruises or a bloodied lip. 

Adding some perspective, Bloomberg writes: "That’s more often than a batter is hit by a pitch, which happened 1,536 times last season, according to Elias Sports Bureau Inc."

It’s not as if attendeees are packed in like hordes of Craig Biggios, just waiting for a turn to get plunked: The number 1,750 equates to about 58 lumps per stadium per year. So less than one per game, although some ballparks are equipped with more protective netting than others. 

Records analyzed by Bloomberg indicate that some injuries were caused not by fouls but by home run balls, batting practice fouls and a few shattered bats landing in the stands.

Regarding the frequency and severity of injuries, Bloomberg writes:

Yes, we’ve identified the culprit — mobile phones. Not only people who thumb a smartphone for three hours but people like this guy in Tampa Bay who’s got his ears plugged and directions incoming from a guy watching the game remotely. 

[H/T Hardball Talk]