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Fan who hit Red Sox's Alex Verdugo banned for life from MLB stadiums

Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo leaps and fails to catch a home run ball hit by New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo leaps and fails to catch a home run ball hit by New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- The fan who hit outfielder Alex Verdugo with a baseball during a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees has been banned from MLB ballparks for life, the league announced.

The fan threw the ball from the left field stands during the sixth inning of the Yankees 9-1 win Saturday at Yankee Stadium in New York. MLB and the Yankees announced the ban Sunday.

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Verdugo stood in left field while the Yankees were at bat during the sequence. The fan launched the ball onto the field and hit the Red Sox outfielder in the back.

Verdugo responding by shouting at the man who threw the ball and was held back by his teammates. Red Sox players briefly left the field during a short delay before they returned and resumed the game.

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The fan was escorted out of the stadium.

"While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries -- especially with the Red So -- 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.

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"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."

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone called for the fan to be arrested during his postgame news conference. Verdugo told reporters he was thankful "nobody got hurt" during the incident.

"At the end of the day, people need to understand we're people as well," Verdugo said. "We do the same stuff that you guys do, we feel the same way that you guys feel, but playing baseball is our job. That's our work. I just feel like the fans are in the wrong on that one."a

The Yankees won two out of three games to win the series against their rivals. They host the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox battle the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:07 p.m. EDT Monday at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y.

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