NEW YORK (AP) — Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson and New York manager Aaron Boone spoke Thursday with Pete Stendel, the YES Network cameraman who sustained an orbital fracture when he was hit by Henderson’s errant throw Wednesday night.
“I got a chance to reach out to his wife and then also made contact with Pete,” Henderson said before the finale of a four-game series between the Orioles and Yankees. “He was in good spirits, just swollen up pretty bad right now. Everything was fine.”
Positioned right next to the New York Yankees’ dugout on the first-base side, Stendel was struck by a hurried throw by Henderson, who fired high to first as he tried to complete a double play in the fifth inning.
“Every time that a ball goes over the first baseman or even a foul ball from the hitter, you don’t want to see it going towards a fan. It just happened to be in the wrong spot, and I hope he’s doing all right,” Henderson said Wednesday night following his team’s 6-3 victory. “My prayers go out to him. I’m just thankful for the guys that rushed over there to him to help him.”
The game was delayed about 17 minutes as the Yankees’ training staff and medical personnel tended to Stendel in the camera well. Baltimore players came off the field and waited in their dugout as Yankees and Orioles, including Henderson, watched in obvious concern at a hushed ballpark.
“Obviously, he’s got the orbital fracture and swelling and that pressure and I’m sure there’s some pain around that, but I will say he sounded really good, in good spirits and hopefully he’s on the road to recovery now,” Boone said. “I’m glad he’s able to be at home resting. Obviously, a very scary situation. I know I saw it in real time and it kind of freaked me out a little bit.
Stendel was strapped onto a stretcher and carted off the field, raising and wagging two fingers to loud applause from the crowd of 36,022 as he was driven along the warning track behind home plate.
“That was unbelievably scary last night and tough to watch — the hush of the crowd for a while kind of said it all,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “So good that he’s doing much better. It’s nice that ‘Boonie’ and Gunnar reached out to him. Hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Henderson, who said he still felt shook up after the game Wednesday night, said he felt some comfort following the conversation with Stendel Thursday and was grateful to hear Boone had also reached out to Stendel.
“Glad everything was OK,” Henderson said. “He just reached out and said ‘Don’t let it affect you in any way. Things happen.’
“Everybody’s reaching out to him — it was pretty cool to hear that he had a support group behind him. I’m glad a lot of people reached out to him.”