Erwin Goldbloom has been a Dodgers fan all his life, but he’s still not ready to return to Dodger Stadium or go back to rooting for his favorite team.
Goldbloom was celebrating his 59th wedding anniversary with his wife, Linda, on Aug. 25, watching Los Angeles play San Diego from their usual seats on the first base side of home plate, when a foul ball flew past the stadium’s protective netting and struck Linda in the head.
“Ushers came down and asked if she was all right, and she said no, then EMT came and rushed her to the hospital — she threw up in the ambulance,” Goldbloom’s daughter, Jana Brody, told ESPN.
After emergency surgery, Linda died three days later at 79. The Los Angeles County coroner’s report obtained by ESPN reported her cause of death was “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma” precipitated by being struck by the baseball.
Now Goldbloom says he’s not ready to return to Dodger Stadium until the team installs even more protective netting. The team, ESPN reported, offered to hold a moment of silence in Linda’s memory before a 2019 game.
Goldbloom rejected the offer.
“We don’t need their sympathy. We want action,” he said. “If they agree to make changes to improve safety for fans, then I’ll go down there.”
Goldbloom reached an undisclosed settlement with the Dodgers in January after filing a lawsuit. He and his daughter have sent letters to Major League Baseball and the players’ union advocating for more protective netting, but said they had not received a response.
“Mr. and Mrs. Goldbloom were great Dodgers fans who regularly attended games. We were deeply saddened by this tragic accident and the passing of Mrs. Goldbloom,” the Dodgers said in a statement to ESPN. “The matter has been resolved between the Dodgers and the Goldbloom family. We cannot comment further on this matter.”
When ESPN asked Goldbloom whether he could see himself returning to major league games, he said, “Right now, no.”
His daughter previously said that her father was considering returning to games in seats “somewhere safe” — near netting — and did not renew his partial season ticket package in 2019.
The incident happened during a season in which many teams had already extended safety netting after a young child was seriously injured in 2017 after being struck in the face by a 105-mile per hour line drive at Yankee Stadium.
“Sadly, it often takes great tragedy and suffering to cause change,” Geoff Jacobson, the child’s father, told ESPN.
“I just hope MLB takes a serious look in the mirror and continues to evaluate and improve fan safety,” he said. “It was always questionable whether the nets were extended far enough or high enough, and every stadium has different degrees of protections.”