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Friday, August 7, 2009
Fan injured trying to get foul ball

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals-Pirates game was stopped for about 10 minutes in the seventh inning Friday night when a fan tumbled onto the field and cut his forehead attempting to catch a foul ground ball.

The man was sitting in a front-row, field-level box behind first base when he leaned over and tried to flag down Pirates batter Garrett Jones' hard-hit foul ground ball.

The ball did not strike him, but the fan lost his balance as he leaned far over the railing -- which is about 3 feet high -- and he landed face-first onto the mostly clay track that rings the field.

Trainers for both teams immediately rushed to help before several doctors were summoned. The fan, who appeared to be in his 50s but was not immediately identified, was conscious and responsive while being taken off the field on a stretcher, according to the Pirates.

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols comforted the man, who was wearing a Cardinals T-shirt, and the man's son, and stayed with them until the medical personnel took the injured fan off the field.

"He told me he'd always wanted to meet me, but didn't want to meet me that way," Pujols said.

The fan's neck was stabilized for precautionary reasons and he was taken to nearby Allegheny General Hospital for evaluation.

During the delay in the game won 6-4 by the Cardinals, Pirates president Frank Coonelly was among those who went onto the field to assist.