Blue Jays fan Liz McGuire explains her mishap with a foul ball

Ian Hunter
24 days ago
When you attend a Major League Baseball game, there is always some sense of risk when you sit down in your seat. Although there is protective netting behind home plate and down the baselines, there is a possibility a baseball travelling at 110MPH could come barrelling into your vicinity at any moment.
Liz McGuire is an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan, and she’s well aware of the decorum of a baseball game. She’s already been to the Rogers Centre 20-plus times to see the Blue Jays this season. Yet for one second, she took her eye off the ball, and that’s when a foul ball off the bat of Bo Bichette smacked her in the forehead.
It was during the seventh inning of Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, a game in which the Blue Jays had a perfect game being thrown against them until the bottom of the eighth, when Danny Jansen broke through with a single.
By then, McGuire was icing her sore forehead, trying to piece together what happened.
One inning prior, as she sat in section 127 having a conversation with her friends, they debated the use of robot umpires, and she turned her head to converse with someone next to her. Shortly after, that’s when the leather came flying.
“I turned to my left to say: ‘No, we need robot umps,’ McGuire told Blue Jays Nation. “Human fallibility has a bias to it and shouldn’t be part of the game. There’s no argument. Then I heard someone scream and next thing I know I got rocked. I knew right away I got smoked with a ball and I knew it was right off the bat. I didn’t see it bounce. It just rocked me.”
The ball came in so fast that none of her friends saw it, and it struck her square on the right side of her forehead. She said it didn’t hurt right away as adrenaline kicked in, but when the people around her were scared and shocked by what they witnessed, that’s when she knew there was cause for concern.
Following the game, McGuire went to the hospital, where they checked her for facial fractures and a concussion. She went home about seven hours later, but over the next few days, the swelling subsided, and at least she could open her right eye now.
At the very least, McGuire expected to get the foul ball for her troubles, but she later discovered the woman who picked up the baseball refused to give it to McGuire and her friends, even though they asked and even offered to pay for it. That fan promptly left the game, which left McGuire confused and upset about why she wasn’t at least offered a penance for her pain and suffering.
This is where most stories of ballpark mishap would end, but McGuire felt hurt and sad about how her experience at the Blue Jays game ended. She reached out on Twitter to the Blue Jays as a Hail Mary to see if they might respond in kind with a baseball. What happened became much more.
Somehow, Topps Baseball Cards caught wind of the post and reached out to McGuire, asking if they could put her face on a baseball card to commemorate her feat of strength for taking a 110MPH baseball off the forehead. It’s not unlike how they commemorated the viral “bee guy” moment from an Arizona Diamondbacks game earlier this year.
Topps is sending her 110 cards (in honour of the 110MPH speed of the baseball). McGuire plans to send some cards to her nieces and nephews, she’ll auction some off to charity, and she’ll frame the rest for her own collection.
In her simple pursuit of a baseball, McGuire experienced the bitter side of fandom, but she also felt the polar opposite with empathy and understanding. After she posted her before and after pictures on Twitter and Reddit, the outpouring of support from fellow fans was overwhelmingly positive.
“I expected to be nuked,” McGuire said. “I am a female Jays fan who had admittingly turned my head during the game. I was like: they’re going to nuke the sh*t out of me. They didn’t. Everybody was super nice to me.
“I was really surprised from the support I got from other sports fans. At the end of the day, I just wanted a ball. I just wanted to be made whole with my ball. If you get face smashed by a ball, you should get that ball.”
After some back and forth, McGuire will get that coveted baseball she so desperately wanted, but Bichette himself will autograph this one. She also received tickets to a future Blue Jays game and access to watch batting practice.
If anything, this mishap underscores how quickly things like this can happen. Glancing away from home plate for a second could have costly implications, something most people don’t even consider when they plunk down to see the local baseball team.
As she continues to recover, McGuire is thankful it didn’t turn out worse; she wasn’t knocked unconscious, and she doesn’t have to undergo facial reconstructive surgery. One silver lining from this ordeal she learned was that even in distress, diehard fans truly look out for one another.
McGuire won’t let this incident deter her from supporting her beloved Blue Jays, though she’s considering making the 500 Level her refuge from foul balls. “I think I’m just going to keep picking the cheap seats. There are no seats better than the 500s behind home plate. I stand by that.”

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