If you walk down a dark alley alone with a pocket full of cash it’s not unreasonable to think that there is a possibility that you may be mugged. However no one would ever expect that participating in America’s favorite pastime could kill you. That is exactly what happened to Atlanta Braves season ticket holder Gregory Murrey of Alpharetta.
During the Saturday August 29 game where Atlanta hosted the Yankees; Murrey who was sitting in the same seat he had purchased for the past 23 years fell from the upper deck of Turner Field during the seventh inning when Alex Rodriguez was up at bat. According to witness reports Murrey was among the crowd of fans booing A-Rod in section 400 behind home plate. It’s been reported that he tumbled from his second row seat, went over a railing and fell head first onto the Terrance level concrete. A doctor who was seated nearby was among the people who rushed over to aid Murrey. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The game went on even as life saving measures were being performed on Murrey. Atlanta Police are investigating the incident. Murrey’s death brings the total of deaths at Turner Field due to falls to three, making it the most deadly ball park in America according to local news station CBS 46. The Fulton County Medical Examiner has attributed cause of death due to blunt force injuries to the head and torso. The Medical Examiner also found that “There was no underlying medical condition found that contributed to death.” Toxicology results will take a few weeks so we will not know if alcohol played a role in this unfortunate accident.
This latest incident comes on the heels of both players and fans voicing concerns over safety at America’s ball parks. With recent injuries from stray balls to flying bats; there is a push to get Major League Baseball increase safety measures. But the real question will be how any upgrades will impact the fan experience. Encircling the field in Plexiglas sever the fan’s connection to the game, while a net could prevent fans from seeing all of the action on the field. The one idea that is most like off the table entirely is banning alcohol sales at games. A game with no beer will mostly be a game with low attendance. The teams, vendors and municipalities that have sinked taxpayer money into sporting arenas will not all that stream of revenue to be taken away over safety concerns.
The question going forward, will the Braves new home SunTrust Park; be a safer venue for fans? The jury is still out on that one.