TV Camera Operator Struck by Ball Suffers Orbital Fracture

Yankee Stadium crowd chants 'MVP!' as Pete Stendel signals fans
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2023 2:23 PM CDT

A TV camera operator suffered an orbital fracture while working a game Wednesday night when a wild throw struck him in the head. Gunnar Henderson, a rookie shortstop for the Orioles, was trying to throw to first base in a game at Yankee Stadium when the ball sailed well over Ryan O'Hearn and hit Pete Stendel. The camera operator for YES Network, who was in a camera well next to the Yankees dugout, fell to the ground immediately, holding his head, the New York Post reports. The game stopped for about 15 minutes while medical personnel checked on Stendel, then placed him on a stretcher and took him away. As he was driven off, Stendel raised a hand to the crowd in the peace sign while fans chanted, "MVP!"

He underwent tests at a hospital, where he was reported to be conscious, before being released to rest at home. Orbital fractures involve bones around the eye. "I saw it right away and it was very scary,'' said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, per New York fans are familiar with Stendel. When working Mets games, he often trots behind Edwin Diaz with his camera when the team's closer leaves the bullpen for the mound. "Only Pete Stendel would throw up the 'hang loose' sign while being carted off the field," Mets reporter Steve Gelbs said in a tweet. "I'm just thankful for the guys that rushed over there to him to help him," Henderson told reporters after the game. The shortstop was given an error on the play. (More Yankee Stadium stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.