The Chicago White Sox were the first team to extend protective netting down to the foul poles.
Depending on your point of view, this is a good reason or a bad reason to take those measures.
According to Deadspin.com, at least 16 fans suffered serious injuries this season alone . . . including a 21-month-old girl, two three-year-olds in separate incidents, a man who lost an eye, and a woman who broke her jaw in three places.
Almost all 16 were hit in the HEAD. Fortunately, no one died . . . but a 79-year-old female fan WAS killed by a foul ball last year.
And this is an UNOFFICIAL number, because baseball doesn’t release data on injured fans. Deadspin made the list by looking through local media reports, and they say there are “certainly” more.
13 of the 30 Major League teams have announced that they will extend their nets farther . . . and most are planning to bring them all the way out to the foul poles. But teams aren’t required to do it yet.
This is a no-brainer issues for me. Fan safety should be of the utmost importance! Cost is no issues.
I also dont’ want to hear the “put the phones down and pay attention” argument while at the same time teams provide free wifi and incentives for using your phone during games. It’s almost 2020, expecting people to not use their phones and pay attention 100% of the time is unrealistic. Even without phones, you can’t pay attention to every pitch…PLAYERS don’t even pay attention to every pitch of the game.
The netting doesn’t block views (that’s why scout seats are so expensive).
I’m proud that the team I cheer for is leading the way in fan safety.