Stephanie Wapenski says she didn’t have time to react.
Wapenski, 36, a Connecticut resident, was celebrating her one-year engagement anniversary with her fiance at Friday’s Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game at Fenway Park. The couple was sitting along the third baseline, when a ball zoomed off the bat of Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, striking her in the face and leaving her needing more than 30 stitches.
“I did see it coming,” Wapenski said. “It hit me. Everything got quiet, sort of buzzy. And I just put my head in my hands.”
Wapenski’s injury comes a month after another fan, Tonya Carpenter, was injured by part of a broken bat that flew into the stands at Fenway.
The injuries draw attention to fan safety at Major League Baseball games. The sport allows fans to get close to the action, and while stadiums hang signs and print reminders on tickets warning fans of potential dangers, some within the game wonder whether further initiatives should be taken.
Commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking in a June interview, mentioned netting and bat regulations as focuses to increase fan safety.
A Red Sox representative addressed fan safety in a statement.
“We are working with MLB on the study of fan safety, and we are talking to our fans who have seats in those areas,” the person said.
For Wapenski, she’s not ready to give up that third baseline view.
“I might have a glove on each hand, just to see if I can help my cause at all, but, yes, it’s hard to pass up those seats,” she said.