Baseball patron hit in the face with hotdog hurled from handheld cannon by team mascot, Phillie Phanatic

When baseballs and bats were flying off the baseball fields and inadvertently hitting and injuring fans in the stands, most owners of major league baseball teams had safety netting installed to protect people seated behind home plate and along parts of the first- and third-base lines.

So why did the folks who handle the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, or more specifically, the activities of the Phillies’ longtime, popular mascot – the Phillie Phanatic – not think that launching a hot dog rolled in duct tape from a hand-held “hot dog cannon” could hurt someone?

It could. It did. And, it’s not a joke.

According to numerous news accounts, Pennsylvania resident Kathy McVay was struck in the face by a duct-taped hot dog fired from the Phillie Phanatic’s handheld cannon and received a black eye on Monday (June 18). When it happened, she was sitting in the stands near home plate – attending a game between the Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. McVay said she was unable to get out of the way or swat the catapulted hot dog away because she had been recovering from a shoulder injury.

She went to the hospital after the incident and said she was told she had a small hematoma, which is a solid swelling of clotted blood within her body’s tissue.

McVay has said she will not sue, and understands that this was an accident. The Phillies organization apologized to McVay and have offered her tickets to any game. There’s been no word yet on whether she’ll take the team up on its offer.

It was good to see the Phillies organization step up to the plate by apologizing without having to be publicly shamed into doing so. McVay was extremely understanding about the whole thing.

But this just shouldn’t have happened. There are tons of things in life that can’t be prevented. This could’ve been prevented. Start with not hurling food at people from a device called a canon? Am I the only one that listened when mom said not to throw your food?

“Oh, but they always use the hot dog cannon there. It’s a thing,” a fellow baseball fan, and friend of mine, told me. “And no one’s ever been hurt before. Not that I know of.”

What type of crazy, pretzel logic is that? Newsflash to my buddy, and to everyone: Doing something dangerous because it’s been done many times before without incident doesn’t make that action any less dangerous. The biggest clue that this hot dog hurling could be dangerous is that it involved the use of a cannon (albeit, a handheld cannon).

Look, I like to have fun. I enjoy whimsy and hijinks just like the next gal. I even enjoy it, in doses, at baseball games.

But someone in the Phillies organization should’ve spoken up a long time ago and said, ‘Hey guys, this isn’t a good idea. Someone could get hurt.”

No one spoke up. And someone did get hurt.

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