SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There was a frightening moment during the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-3 Angels victory over the Giants. Angels first baseman Jorge Cantu shattered his bat on a foul ball, part of it hurtling into the stands at Scottsdale Stadium and hitting two fans seated several rows behind the visitors' dugout.
The shard glanced off the leg of Jeanne Slevian and struck her friend, Kathleen Dunnivan, in the head. Both women are from the Washington, D.C., area and were administered to by paramedics, who took them across the street to Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center for observation. Dunnivan was a bit bloodied but conscious as she was rolled away on a gurney. Slevian sustained a gash in her leg. Dunnivan was characterized later as being "in good spirits."
"It was only [Dunnivan's] second game ever," said Slevian's father Ed, after the incident occurred in Section 107, Row H. "They were having a great time."
Dunnivan is a businesswoman and Slevian is an usher at baseball games at Nationals Park. A Giants spokesman said they were doing well and that Dunnivan had asked for a baseball autographed by Freddy Sanchez, the Giants' second baseman who's struggling to return from shoulder surgery. Instead, she was delivered a ball signed by the team. On Monday, Dunnivan had been given a bat by Giants infield hopeful Emmanuel Burriss, a Washington native.
"You always have bad fears that this could happen," said Larry Baer, the Giants' president and chief executive who arrived under the stands along with team doctor Anthony Saglimbeni and trainer Dave Groeschner as paramedics were bandaging Dunnivan. "We're blessed that she appears to be OK. Hopefully, it's nothing more than a bruise. There are a lot of close calls. You have to get a little lucky sometimes."
After the incident, the game stopped for several moments as Angels players stood in front of the dugout, looking up into the stands. Dunnivan was helped up to a standing ovation and the game resumed with Cantu lining out.
"That was a shame, oh my God," Angels manager Mike Scisocia said. "She looked like she was OK, but that thing went and was helicoptering. You just prayed it wasn't going to hit anybody."
During spring 1992, Matt Keough, a former pitcher and then a Minor League coach for the Angels, was hit in the head by a lined foul ball as he was seated in that same dugout at Scottsdale Stadium. That was prior to a protective netting fence being erected. He suffered from a blood clot and was also taken across the street to Scottsdale Healthcare, where he underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. Keough survived the incident.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an
MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.