FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – An elderly male usher was struck by a ball during Boston Red Sox batting practice Monday but appeared to be fine when he was removed from the field on a stretcher.
The usher was in the left-field stands when he was hit in the upper body on a Hanley Ramirez’s ball. He was conscious and immediately tended to by Boston’s trainers and medical personnel. The usher scraped his elbow when he fell and his arm was bandaged.
The Red Sox halted batting practice when the usher was hit. Ramirez, David Ortiz and manager John Farrell left the batting cage and walked into the JetBlue Park stands to check on him. Ortiz gave him his bat before high-fiving him. Ramirez signed a ball and Farrell shook his hand before walking down to the field.
The Red Sox were preparing to play Boston College in the first game of their annual doubleheader against the Eagles and Northeastern.
Last season, a number of fans across the majors were hit by batted balls, prompting Major League Baseball to recommend that teams extend screens from home plate to the dugouts. A fan was seriously injured by a broken piece of bat from Oakland’s Brett Lawrie at Fenway Park.