Fan saves boy from being hit by flying baseball bat – Picture

Updated: March 8, 2016
Fan saves boy from being hit by flying baseball bat - Watch

Fan Saves Boy From Getting Struck by Flying Bat at Pittsburgh Pirates Game.

During the Pirates’ game on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, Ortiz lost his grip on the bat on a swinging strike. The bat whizzed into the seats behind the Braves’ dugout on the first base side.

A boy who was looking down at his cell phone was in the bat’s flight path. An adult fan seated next to him stuck out his arm and deflected the bat away from the boy’s face, preventing what could have been a serious injury.

“I didn’t know what happened, if it (hurt) the boy or anything,” Ortiz said. “I went home and my wife said to me, ‘You almost killed that kid!’ ”

Ortiz’s wife showed him a photo of the incident — with the bat just inches from the boy’s face — taken by Tribune-Review photographer Christopher Horner.

“I saw the picture. It was crazy,” Ortiz said. “That guy took (a blow) for the kid. The father, or whoever he was, he protected that kid.”

Fans who sit in lower-level seats are always at risk of being struck by foul balls and flying bats.

Last April, a fan in the seats behind home plate at PNC Park was knocked unconscious by a ball. The woman was standing with her back to the field and close to the netting, which was flexible enough for the ball to connect with the back of her head.

About a week later, a person watching the Pirates and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field was clobbered when Addison Russell lost the grip on his bat.

In December, MLB told all 30 teams to consider extending protective nets within 70 feet of home plate.

According to a Pirates spokesman, PNC Park already meets the MLB guidelines and there are no plans to add additional netting.