BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Stephanie Wapenski of Branford is a lifelong Red Sox fan who got more than she bargained for at Fenway Park in July when she went to see her favorite team take on the Yankees. Wapenski was hit with a foul ball as she sat in the stands and suffered a list of injuries that would make anyone cringe.
“I wound up with roughly 35 stitches,” said Wapenski.
Wapenski was one of several fans hurt at the ballpark this past season. On Wednesday, officials with Major League Baseball announced plans they hope will keep fans safer. They’re recommending teams have protective netting between the dugouts for any field level seats within 70-feet of home plate.
Representatives the Phillies, Dodgers, and the Red Sox organizations say they will follow the guidelines. Cincinnati and Houston say their ballparks are already in compliance.
“I think it’s a great step,” said Wapenski. “I’m impressed that they moved this quickly.”
But ask Wapenski if she regrets being hit by a ball she’s not quick to come right out and say ‘no,’ and who can blame her when you consider in the wake of her injury, the Red Sox have agreed to let her marry her fiancé at Fenway this upcoming November.
Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred said in a statement:
“This recommendation attempts to balance the need for an adequate number of seating options with our desire to preserve the interactive pre-game and in-game fan experience that often centers around the dugouts, where fans can catch foul balls, see their favorite players up close and, if they are lucky, catch a tossed ball or other souvenir. “