As if Chris Iannetta’s season weren't difficult enough, the Angels catcher hitting just .098 after Sunday’s 5-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, it grew even more disturbing when his check-swing foul ball in the third inning struck a young boy in the head near the first-base dugout at AT&T Park.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Iannetta said. “What else can go wrong?”
The ball, fortunately, was not traveling at a high rate of the speed, and the boy, who was carried away for medical attention, eventually returned to his seat. But the more Iannetta thought about the incident, the more it upset him.
“I really don’t understand why you would put little kids there, not behind the net, in the first place,” Iannetta said. “As an adult, I wouldn’t sit there because there’s not enough time to react to those things. At first, my heart sank, because I didn’t know how bad he was hurt.
“Then, I was [ticked] off because of the area they were sitting in in the first place. It’s not a place for kids. It’s really not. I wouldn’t put my kids there. I wouldn’t even sit there. It’s different when you’re a player, you’re in every pitch, but as a fan, you’re distracted. … They’re not paying attention. It’s a bad scenario.”
The Angels put together a care package for the boy, with Mike Trout donating a bat and Iannetta a ball.
“He made out on the swag end,” Iannetta said, “but he definitely dodged a bullet.”