Blue Jays do the right thing for a fan who took a foul ball to the face

The Blue Jays act in the classiest way possible during an extremely unfortunate situation
Colorado Rockies v Toronto Blue Jays
Colorado Rockies v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

A diehard fan of the Toronto Blue Jays who experienced a scary episode involving a foul ball is living to tell about it. Liz McGuire attended a Friday night game at the Rogers Centre and was struck by a foul ball at a blistering 177 km/h. The ball pounded her forehead and left a massive impact. A few days later, the Toronto Blue Jays and the baseball trading card company Topps are doing their best to remedy the unfortunate circumstances.

In addition to getting a call from Topps about using her picture to print 110 personalized copies of a baseball card, McGuire will be attending the final game of the White Sox series in which she will pick up a baseball signed by Bo Bichette. The number 110 comes from the exit velocity of the Bichette foul ball that struck McGuire's forehead, believed to have occurred in the early stages of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Thankfully, McGuire seems to be in better condition after receiving immediate medical attention from stadium personnel. McGuire actually returned to her seat and watched the rest of the game. She was taken to the emergency room after the game because the swelling grew larger. While still suffering from the aftershocks of the grisly episode, McGuire is now poised to experience solid treatment from the organization. Kudos to the Blue Jays organization for hearing the story and deciding to make amends in the best way possible.

A sidebar to this story is that the actual foul ball didn't land with McGuire. In a chat with CBC, McGuire explained the situation and revealed that she didn't actually get to keep the ball. "I got my face mashed in ... I didn't even get the ball," McGuire joked. McGuire humorously confirmed that she actually didn't want the ball saying, "that ball has no joy in it ... that's a mean ball."

On a broader level, getting hit with foul balls can be extremely dangerous even if incidents are dropping. Just think about the exit velocity readings you see on television and imagine that object barreling toward your forehead. Not only that, but players are much stronger nowadays and the game is moving faster for all involved (including fans). Think about all of the distractions inherent to attending a baseball game including the scoreboard graphics, flashy advertisements and casually watching other fans. In fact, McGuire was simply chatting with her friend when the incident occurred.

NBC News ran a study a few years ago in which it estimated about 808 reported injuries from foul balls during the period from 2012 to 2019. As that study acknowledged, it probably underestimated the true extent of injuries because it contained incomplete statistical reporting as well as numerous unconfirmed episodes. One alarming anecdote involved a man at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia who was literally paying a food vendor when he was struck. Obviously, these incidents are extremely "freak" in nature, but they underscore the need to protect fans as much as possible. Credit to Major League Baseball for taking common sense steps like extending netting wherever possible.

McGuire seems to be the most optimistic person on the face of the Earth. So optimistic that she admitted to CBC it won't deter her from attending another game and cheering for the Blue Jays. "It was such a freak accident ... I'm not going to let it shape my outlook of fandom." Unfortunately for all involved, the team was unable to muster enough and lost the game on that fateful Friday night.