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Ron Kulpa was working as the home plate umpire at Boston’s Fenway Park when White Sox third baseman Jake Burger hit a foul ball, which connected with Kulpa straight in his face mask.
Kulpa, 53, was seen dropping to the ground behind home plate after getting hit, and he appeared visibly shaken up.
“That is not a good sign at all behind home plate,” an announcer was heard saying during the broadcast.
Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez immediately turned to check on Kulpa, who remained on the ground as the training staff from both teams came over to look at him.
Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez checks on home plate umpire Ron Kulpa after Kulpa was hit with a foul ball during the fourth inning a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
After sitting down for a while, Kulpa stood up and had a brief chat with the Red Sox trainer.
Home plate umpire Ron Kulpa is tended to after being hit with a foul ball during the fourth inning of a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
He was later able to walk off the field on his own power and the game would resume following a 20-minute delay. His condition is not immediately known.
Home plate umpire Ron Kulpa leaves the game after being hit with a foul ball during the fourth inning of a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Kulpa was replaced by first-base umpire Marty Foster, who took control of the three-man officiating crew.
The White Sox (14-13) were leading 3-0 when the incident occurred. Boston (10-19) made an attempt to close the gap and eventually got to within one run. However, Chicago would hold on for a 3-2 victory to sweep the three-game series.
The incident occurred roughly two days after an NHL official was taken off the ice on a stretcher during a playoff series between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins.
Joe Foley was working in the Bruins’ penalty box Friday night when a section of the glass fell on him, leading the game to be delayed for about seven minutes.
Foley was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for observation following the incident, which occurred with 5:07 remaining in the second period, according to NHL spokesman John Dellapina.
“We heard he’s doing all right, and he’s going to be fine,” Bruins star David Pastrnak added.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and the Associated Press contributed to this report