Major League teams consider extended safety nets to prevent fan injuries

June 20, 2019 - 7:47 am
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After several frightening incidents involving fans injured by foul balls, some Major League Baseball teams are looking at improving safety measures.

The Chicago White Sox announced in the past week that Guaranteed Rate Field would be the first MLB to extend safety nets all the way to the foul poles. Fans were shocked in May when a little girl was badly injured by a foul ball from the bat of Chicago Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. Almora reacted by dropping to his knees in remorse. Other players were seen trying to console him. 

The Kansas City Royals have had a large net behind home plate since the team's inception in 1969, and they were among the first organizations to extend netting past the dugouts. 

There is now talk of installing nets to the foul poles, said Toby Cook, Royals spokesman.

"Always the concern has been that people didn't want to have a net in front of them to block their view," Cook said. "Probably within a game or two, people were so used to the extended netting, it didn't affect their ability to enjoy the game."

There is always an inherent risk of a bat or ball going into the stands, Cook said. Warnings are printed on tickets.

Safety is the Royals' number one priority, and anyone who is uncomfortable with a seat can ask to be moved, Cook said. 

If changes are to be made at Kauffman Stadium, it will be in conjunction with the desires of Royals fans and Major League Baseball.

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