When players and fans arrived at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon for a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics, there was more buzz than just who would win the matinee.
Questions surrounding a fan who was struck in the head by a broken bat from A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie during Friday’s game were being asked as people continued to express concern. Tonya Carpenter was carted out of the ballpark and transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was in “serious condition’’ Saturday, according to a family statement released by the hospital.
“She is expected to survive,’’ said Boston police spokeswoman Rachel McGuire, according to The Boston Globe.
On Saturday morning, players inquired about Carpenter’s status, with the injury still on their minds a day later. Her screams were audible in the ballpark.
“It’s horrible. You don’t want to see anybody get hurt,’’ David Ortiz said. “We talked about it through the whole game. … It’s just pretty bad.’’
Mookie Betts echoed Ortiz’s comments, “I hope she’s OK. Obviously nothing was on purpose and accidents happen, but praying for the family and hopefully she’s fine.’’
The Red Sox issued the following statement Saturday afternoon:
“A woman was injured by a broken bat that flew into the stands in the top of the second inning of last night’s game. The fan was immediately transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she is being treated. All of us offer our prayers and our thoughts as we wish her a speedy recovery.’’
Carpenter was sitting near the visitors’ on-deck circle, which has limited netting. There are signs facing the seats on the walls along the field that read in capital letters, “BE ALERT FOULS BALLS AND BATS HURT.’’ Fenway Park security and ushers did not identify the exact location of the incident.
Some fans who are sitting close to the field on Saturday were trying to proceed as normal after Friday night’s events.
“I feel fine,’’ said Ryan Dyke of Maine, as the players took batting practice. “I think I’d be pretty aware that one was coming. I’m not scared or anything. I’ve never been this close, always been back in the blue seats. But I love being up here. You see way better.’’
Following the injury, other fans were planning to observe the game with a more watchful eye. While there can be distractions from text messages, snapping photos, and simply engaging in conversation, the incident has caused pause to be more mindful.
“I wouldn’t say I’m scared about anything flying toward me, but it’s definitely an eye opener, seeing something, especially that serious of an injury,’’ said Aaron Adams of Maine. “I just hope her and the family are OK. I’ll keep my eyes open a lot more, definitely.’’
Greg Vouros of Amherst has sat close to the field in the past. He stressed exercising caution during game action.
“I think it can be a dangerous place to be,’’ he said. “But if you’re heads up, you should be ok.’’
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is not expected to issue another update on Saturday. In the meantime, Carpenter will stay in the thoughts of those at Fenway Park.
“Hopefully she recovers all the way,’’ Ortiz said. “We hope she comes back around and things go better.’’
Photos: Woman hit by broken bat at Fenway Park