Detroit Tigers fan hit in head by foul ball in 2015 talks for first time

Posted at 10:00 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 10:46:14-04

Her life would change in a split second. Carey Mason was hit in the head during the Detroit Tigers game on August 21, 2015. 

Now two years later, Carey is speaking out - not for money, not for fame or pity, but to improve the safety of fans watching the game inside the ballpark.

Carey was in the front row behind the Tigers dugout and it was the worst and the best for her.

"Being that close to the players is epic. We were so excited," she said. "I don't think any of us believed we were going to get a baseball to the face."

Victor Martinez tossed up a batting helmet to them as a souvenir. Then Carry says Tigers security argued with her and her friends that the helmet had to be given back. 

Carey says during one of those arguments in the 8th inning, she never saw a foul tip hit by Anthony Gose that hit her on the right side of her head. She says she remembers very little of what happened.

"I do remember I heard church bells and it was the loudest," Carey said. I was angry. Why would they do this at a baseball game."

She originally contacted me in early 2016. She was upset that the Tigers were saying that the lady hit by the baseball was okay. She was not okay. 

She has reduced eyesight in her right eye, nerve and brain damage. She may never be able to return to working as a teacher. She’s also not alone. 

"I'm not able to go back to work. I may never be able go back to work because I work with children," she said. "That's a big deal. There's a lot to that. It's life-altering so I don't consider that OK."

Andy Zlotnick was hit by a baseball in 2014 at Yankee Stadium and fights for improved fan safety.

Major League Baseball recommended clubs extend safety netting behind home plate in December of 2015, but only to the closest sides of the dugouts. The Detroit Tigers had already done that. 

Even Tigers' pitcher Justin Verlander said he thinks more safety measures need to be put into place.

"Those low liners, they catch us off guard in the dugout," he said. "There needs to be protective measures put in place."

I do think that fan safety is a going concern," Manager Brad Ausmus added. "It's not really my call, but I think it's something that should be looked at."

Ten of the 30 major league clubs have voluntarily extended the netting to the outer sides of the dugouts to improve fan safety. 

Both MLB and the Tigers would not comment on this story, but sent their statements from December 2015.

Club Statement MLB Fan Safety Recommendations by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

MLB Issues Recommendation Re Netting_120915 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

Carey’s attorney Bill Boyer, Jr says he’s planning a lawsuit, but the Tigers put a disclaimer on the back of tickets that says people assume the risk and danger of attending a game. There’s also a warning sign in the line of fire in the stadium.

Boyer also says the Tigers have friends in high places, as Michigan and other states have passed laws to immunize clubs from lawsuits.

As you watch the interview with Carey in the video player above, you might be surprised at what she remembers, and what she wants from the Tigers.