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We suffered all winter, made it through spring, and now we can finally get back out to the ballpark. Attending baseball games is one of the purest joys of the summer, and there's nothing quite like America's pastime.
Unfortunately, going to a game isn't without its dangers, so here are three (plus one) common injuries to be on the lookout for while at the old ball game.
1. Hit By a Fly or Foul Ball.
This is the most common risk a baseball fan runs while sitting in the stands. While some seats are more dangerous than others, you really never know when a ball (or even a bat) might be coming your way. So the key is to stay awake and alert at all times.
If you're injured by a foul ball and thinking about filing a lawsuit, you should be aware of the baseball rule, which bars fan injury suits in some states. The idea behind the rule is that fans have assumed some risk of injury by attending a sporting event, especially a baseball game where batted balls enter the crowd so frequently. Not all courts apply the baseball rule, however, so whether you can sue may depend on where you are injured.
2. Food Poisoning.
Look at these hot dogs the Royals are serving fans in Kansas City. Seriously. (Actually, don't look at those hot dogs if you're eating, planning to eat, or have even eaten recently.) While some baseball teams are known for assembling some gourmet and gut-busting treats, not all the food fare at the field can be trusted.
(Also, you may want to keep an eye out for hot dogs that come flying off the field as well - they can be equally dangerous as projectiles. Actually, maybe the Royals should just stay out of the hot dog game entirely.)
3. Fan Fights.
We all know the Brian Stow incident, and let's hope that tragedy remains an isolated incident. Unfortunately, however, fights between fans at baseball games are fairly common. And while some can take a beating with a sense of humor, not all fights end in a good-natured and injury-free way.
Your best bet for avoiding a fan fight is to drink responsibly, if at all, and do your best to avoid those who failed to do so. Most ballpark altercations involve alcohol, so you might want to steer clear.
(4. The Philly Phanatic.)
Sure, he may look fuzzy and friendly, but the Philadelphia Phillies mascot has left a trail of injured souls in his wake. Stay on your toes if the Philly Phanatic is nearby. (And generally avoiding Phillies fans entirely might be a good idea.)
So stay safe this summer and enjoy the games. If something unfortunate does happen, you might want to ask an attorney if you have a valid injury claim.