Foul Ball Shatters Camera at Little League World Series

Little League
The moment the foul ball impacts the unmanned camera. | ESPN

A camera was shattered and destroyed by a foul ball during a Little League World Series baseball game in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

ESPN found itself a camera down during the international final after Curacao’s Nasir El-Ossais took a swing with his bat and the 78 miles per hour ball glanced off it and flew straight into the camera’s lens.

The incident happened in the fourth inning at Lamade Stadium and, fortunately, there was no cameraman behind it. The unmanned broadcast camera even captured a cool shot of its own demise, recording its final clear moments as the ball hurtled toward it.

Baseball camera
The camera films the 78 miles per hour baseball hurtling toward it. | ESPN

The sound of the shattering glass made a very loud noise causing commentators and fans to immediately react. Sports Illustrated reports that there were no injuries except for ESPN possibly feeling a little ill at having to pay for new equipment — not that this is an issue for the company.

With the 2023 baseball season coming to its conclusion, it is worth recapping that there have been numerous incidents involving errant baseballs and cameras this year.

In June, a photographer covering an MLB game in Florida had his Sony 400mm f/2.8 lens valued at $12,000 destroyed after a foul ball smashed into the glass. But, the sports photographer Jim Rassol received an outpouring of support which led to having his gear restored thanks to an act of generosity from Sony.

Not so lucky though was YES Network camera operator Pete Stendel who had to be carted off the field to hospital after a ball forcefully stuck him in the face. Sadly, Stendel later revealed that he is also battling cancer telling The Athletic that his vision is still affected, suffering “little flashes of light coming in” to his left eye when he opens it.

Despite Curacao’s foul ball that destroyed a camera, the team went on to secure a victory over Chinese Taipei and taking home their second-straight Little League World Series championship.