Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Fan hit by Steven Souza Jr. foul ball released from hospital


A fan seriously injured after being hit by a foul ball off the bat of Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Steve Souza Jr. during a game last week at Tropicana Field was released from the hospital on Monday night, per aTampa Bay Times report.

The incident occurred during the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. The woman, reportedly a White Sox fan in town from Chicago, was seated in the lower box section near the Rays dugout when she was struck by the Souza Jr. foul ball.

The game was delayed for approximately 12 minutes as the woman was being treated, during which Souza went into the stands to check on her condition.

The woman, 63, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for further tests. She reportedly was conscious and talking.

A clearly distraught Souza completed his at-bat against Chris Sale after the delay, striking out.

The ball reached the stands after going through a hole in the protective netting about a baseball-and-a-half wide behind an area for photographers. Adjustments were made by stadium staff to the netting before Saturday’s game, per a statement from the Rays.

“Our thoughts are with the injured fan and her family, and we wish her a complete recovery,” the statement read. “Steps have been taken to ensure this unfortunate incident will not be repeated.”

Souza, along with his wife and Rays chaplain Gio Llerena, then paid a visit to the woman in the hospital following Sunday’s game.

“Obviously, I feel a little bit better seeing her. She looked like she was doing better,” Souza told the newspaper Tuesday. “It was good to go there and encourage her. … I’m very ecstatic she got released. That’s great to hear.

“I tried to make her laugh and lift her spirits up. She was very encouraging to me and tried to lift the burden off of me, which I appreciate. It was good to kind of be there and let her know, ‘Hey, I know this was a freak accident, but we as the Rays care about you, and I care about you as well and your well-being.'”