A fan who hit Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo with a baseball from the stands at Yankee Stadium has been banned from attending Major League Baseball games for life.
The incident took place during the sixth inning of the Red Sox's game against the arch-rival Yankees on Saturday night.
Verdugo, who was playing left field, was struck in the back by a ball thrown from the stadium stands.
The outfielder didn't appear to be hurt, but was angered and shouted at fans before being restrained by first base coach Tom Goodwin during a rain delay.
The fan who threw the baseball was ejected from the stadium after the incident.
“While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries — especially with the Red Sox – reckless, disorderly and dangerous behavior that puts the safety of players, field staff or fellow fans in jeopardy will not be tolerated,” the Yankees said in a statement Sunday.
“There is absolutely no place for it at Yankee Stadium. The safety of everyone at Yankee Stadium, including guests in the stands and players on the field, will always be the top priority for the Yankees organization every time we open our doors.”
Verdugo said he tossed the baseball into the stands to a young Red Sox fan, but the Yankee fan intercepted it and hurled it back onto the field, striking the outfielder.
“It’s awful, embarrassing, unacceptable,” New York manager Aaron Boone said after the game.
Verdugo returned to left field after a discussion with umpires located near the Red Sox's dugout once play resumed.
The Yankees won Saturday's game, 3-1, and took the final game of the series Sunday night, 9-1, after the Red Sox won 4-0 in the series opener on Friday.
The series was initially scheduled to begin on Thursday, July 15th but was postponed due to a reported COVID-19 issue within the Yankees' organization.