During Wednesday's game, Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. fell to his knees after his foul ball hit a young child in attendance
Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. remained shaken up following Wednesday night’s game, after a small child was struck by a foul ball he hit during the fourth inning.
After the ball made contact with the child, clearly alarmed, Amora Jr., 25, dropped to his knees and became so emotional that he had to be consoled by his teammates. After several minutes, he was able to pull himself together enough to continue with his at-bat, although he was later seen crying after asking security guards about how the young girl, who had been rushed away to receive medical attention, was doing.
“Right now, I’m just praying and I’m speechless,” he told reporters after the game, according to ESPN. “I’m at a loss of words. Being a father, two boys … but God willing, I’ll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now, and that’s all I really can control.”
The athlete went on to share that as soon as the ball was hit, he knew someone had been struck.
“As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her,” he added.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon went on to tell reporters that as he consoled Almora Jr. during the game, he urged the player not to blame himself for what happened.
“I just wanted him to understand, ‘This is not under your control. There’s nothing you could’ve done about that differently, so please don’t blame yourself,’ ” Maddon shared. “Of course, it’s an awful moment, but it’s a game and this is out of your control and you just have to understand that part of it.”
On Wednesday night, the Houston Astros released a statement about the child’s condition.
“The young fan that was struck by a foul ball during tonight’s game was taken to the hospital. We are not able to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family.”
The Cubs went on to retweet the statement on their own Twitter page.
Hours later, it was announced that the child is “expected to be okay,” by SportsTalk 790, a local sports-talk radio station in the Houston area.
“According to our sources, the young child was awake, responsive and taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. The child is expected to be okay. Thank goodness,” the radio station tweeted.
Opening up about the scary moment, one fan who was at the game shared that after the ball made contact with the child “all we heard was screaming.”
“He rips a line drive down the third-base line and it comes in and it looks like hits someone hard,” David LeVasseur told the Houston Chronicle. “It bounces, comes down and hits the guy to my left off ricochet and the next thing you know it’s at my feet. I pick it up and all we heard was screaming.”
“We just saw this dad pick up a child and run up the stairs. He took off running,” he added.
According to The Chronicle, the baseball had “no traces of blood” on it and there was none near the seat.
The Cubs went on to win the game 2 to 1.