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A Foul Ball Killed a Fan at Dodger Stadium Last Year and the Dodgers Said Nothing About It

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] SoCal woman died last August after she was hit in the head by a foul ball over the first base side of home plate at Dodger Stadium, according to a report by ESPN.

But the tragic accident at Dodger Stadium was not known to the public. Television coverage of the Padres-Dodgers game that night did not follow the flight of the ball or show where it ended up. No media outlet had reported what happened before the ESPN story.

Linda Goldbloom, 79, was a mother of three and grandmother of seven. She is the third person in U.S. baseball history to die after being struck by a foul ball in professional play. Two of those three incidents have now occurred at Dodger Stadium.

Goldbloom – a long-time Dodgers fan – was at the game celebrating her recent birthday and her 59th wedding anniversary on August 25, 2018. An L.A. County Coroner's report states the cause of death as “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma” and states that the injury occurred when she was struck in the head with a baseball during the game.

The accident happened in the top of the ninth inning, when San Diego’s Franmil Reyes fouled away a 93 mph pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. The foul ball had sailed into the Loge Level, and just over the area protected by netting, before it had struck Goldbloom’s head as she sat in section 106, row C, seat 5.

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Linda Goldbloom, front right. Goldbloom suffered a  fatal head injury at Dodger Stadium on August 25. Courtesy of the Goldbloom family via ESPN.
Linda Goldbloom, front right, hours before a fatal head injury at Dodger Stadium. Courtesy of the Goldbloom family via ESPN.

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]ll 30 Major League Baseball teams had expanded netting at their ballparks following a 2017 incident at Yankee Stadium, when a 2-year-old girl was hit in the face by a 105 mph line drive. Although her injuries were called life-threatening, she managed to survive. Most clubs expanded netting to the end of the dugout.

After they were contacted by ESPN, the Dodgers issued the following statement: “Mr. and Mrs. Goldbloom were great Dodgers fans who regularly attended games. We were deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the passing of Mrs. Goldbloom. The matter has been resolved between the Dodgers and the Goldbloom family. We cannot comment further on this matter.”

Via FB.

Death by a foul ball is extremely rare. MLB has historically relied on the century-old “Baseball Rule” to deter and defend against claims of injuries in the crowd from the impact of baseballs and thrown or broken bats.

It says on the back of tickets that fans assume the risks incidental to games when they enter ballparks, and courts of law have generally held that as long as teams provide warnings and install netting in the areas of greatest danger, MLB has lived up to its responsibility and shouldn’t be held liable.

In Major League Baseball’s 150-year history, there were two previous reported instances of fans dying after being struck in the stands by balls that left the field of play, according to ESPN. One incident occurred almost 50 years ago at Dodger Stadium.

Alan Fish, 14, died four days after he was hit in the head by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium on May 16, 1970. L.A.'s Manny Mota was batting against San Francisco's Gaylord Perry, when a Mota liner veered down the first-base line, near the dugout, and struck Fish two rows from the field.

The only other recorded fatality by foul ball occurred three decades earlier. Clarence Stagemyer, 32, died one day after he was hit in the head by a thrown ball on September 29, 1943, at Griffith Stadium in Washington DC. The Senators third-baseman Sherry Robertson fielded a grounder hit by Cleveland's Ken Keltner and threw it over the head of first baseman Mickey Vernon, and the ball struck Stagemyer in the first row of the stands.

The fatal injury to Goldbloom happened during the first season in which all 30 major league teams had the protective netting extending from home plate to the ends of both dugouts.

RELATED: How Dodgers Fans Survived the Longest World Series Game in Baseball History

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