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Baker wants safety to be a priority for fans

CHICAGO -- When the Cubs were in Cincinnati last week, John Baker saw a family sitting directly behind the dugout with a 6-month-old baby. After the national anthem ended, the Cubs catcher told the family to be careful, and hold the child to the side to protect it from any foul balls.

"They looked at me like I was crazy," Baker said.

On Sunday night, Baker fouled a ball into the Wrigley Field stands behind the Cubs dugout and it struck a woman on the side of the head. He was visibly shaken by what happened.

"You don't want to see anybody ever get hurt in life, period," Baker said Monday. "You see somebody get hit in the face with a baseball, and I think when you have been hit in the face yourself, you know what it feels like and what they're going through. Fortunately for me, after it happened, I looked up and saw she was smiling. That took a lot of the pressure off."

The woman was examined by medics and returned to her seat with an ice pack on the side of her head. The Cubs players gave her a baseball, signed by everyone.

"When you're over the dugout here at Wrigley Field, you're so close to the action, I don't know if you have time to get out of the way," Baker said. "[Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina] looked at me right after it happened and said, 'Why don't they put a net up? Why don't they block that off so nobody gets hit?'

"They've talked about renovating the stadium, and maybe they can add that," Baker said. "If I was a fan sitting in the stands, I'd much rather know I'd be safe and not in jeopardy of getting hit in the face with a line drive."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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