At any baseball game there are signs posted and pregame announcements read encouraging fans to keep an eye on the game at all times and watch out for foul balls that may come into the crowd. They also warn about the possibility of a baseball bat leaving the field, but this is not as typical a situation. These warnings are issued as a way to both keep fans safe and in the event of an injury, to protect the team involved from any type of potential lawsuit. One of my responsibilities during my internship was filling out and following up on any incidents that occurred around the ball park in which a fan was injured in any way.
What those pregame warnings and signs do not warn fans of are flying objects that you would not expect to see at a baseball game. There are no signs warning fans to watch out for flying hot dogs or t-shirts. Although there are very few situations in which a fan gets injured after being hit by a flying hot dog, it is not a fun experience if you are not expecting it.
I will say that I have seen some scary moments involving foul balls and fans who were unable to move themselves out-of-the-way of a fast-moving baseball. After seeing everything from a bruised forehead to a broken nose, you start to understand that while coming to a baseball game is a fun experience there are also some dangers that you must be aware of while having said fun.
Can you imagine sitting at a baseball game and you realize something is falling out of the air? You aren’t paying too close attention because the game is between innings so you know it isn’t a baseball. With a quick glance at the seat beside you, you find a foil wrapped object lying on the chair. As you unwrap the object, you realize it is a fully cooked hot dog, with condiment packets and bun included. Looking around, you finally notice the man riding the ostrich who is running around on the field throwing hot dogs into the crowd. The crowd is going crazy around you because why wouldn’t they, who’s going to say no to free food?
Confessional: What is the strangest object you have ever seen being launched into a crowd of people at an event?
When at a baseball game you also have to keep an eye out for t-shirts being thrown into the crowd. In the case of the Fightins, free t-shirts are launched into the crowd from a t-shirt cannon situated in the back of a small train that drives around the outfield. While you might think that getting hit with a t-shirt wouldn’t cause that much damage, it can be painful if you aren’t paying attention and don’t know that it is coming.
While it is mandatory for baseball teams around the country to post warnings about foul balls around their stadiums and even on their tickets, there is nothing in the rules that requires warnings about flying food or clothing.
Never fear though, I promise that if you take a trip to a Fightin Phils’ game and the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor throws a package your way, you will not get a concussion if it hits you on the head. Watch out though, you might get some ketchup or mustard in your hair though.