Experts Agree that Netting in MLB Stadiums Can Prevent Fan Injuries and Deaths

A young fan is carted away after being hit with a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Associated Press

A young fan is carted away after being hit with a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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Every year, at least 1,750 fans injured in a MLB games.  ESPN reporter, Jeff Passan,  stated on SportsCenter that,  “MLB parks need full protective netting before it is too late.”

In the past decade, baseball players Cody Bellinger, Albert Almora, Todd Frazier, and another San Diego Padre batter have all hit baseball fans  with foul balls. The fans hit had suffered several injuries, and one Dodger fan in 2018 who was hit had injuries so severe that they resulted in death. 

Dodger first base man and outfielder, Cody Bellinger who hit a Dodger fan with a foul ball on June 24th  said he would support of extending of the netting farther down the lines at Dodger Stadium — where 79-year-old Linda Goldbloom was struck by a foul ball during the 2018 season and died four days later, according to the New York Post.

“I would assume that would be a smart decision,” the Dodgers first baseman said, added the New York Post.  “The people in the front row don’t have enough reaction time. I’m over at first base, and I have to be ready, and they’re 10 feet over from me. That’s a scary situation.”

So far,  the only solution is a netting extension. According to ESPN reporter Jeff Passan, adding more netting is necessary to prevent any more incidents.

Passan discussed this safety measure with Chicago Cubs clubhouse members Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Joe Maddon, and Albert Almora.

All of these players and people agreed to add netting all around the stadium before it gets worse. Kris Bryant said to ESPN: “…You know, but just seeing Albert and the look on his face. And you know, it’s so sad. I mean it’s– I don’t know what can do. I mean, let’s just put fences up around the whole field… 

 In addition, according to Fox News, two Illinois senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manford urging him to add extra netting for safety.

Tom Tingle, from the DLR group, a designer of  professional sports facilities has some ideas about making baseball safer for fans.  “ The Major League Baseball doesn’t have official stadium design guidelines…”

In an article posted on the Build, Design, and Construct website, the three suggested solutions to make MLB parks safer include revising railing codes, regulating  minimum backstop netting height, and increasing  the backstop netting distance down each foul ball line.

Even though there have been many fan injuries in the MLB,  safety nets are now considered by many experts to be a necessary solution  at stadiums to prevent unnecessary injuries and danger for fans and the baseball players. 

   https://www.dailynews.com/2019/06/23/alexander-girl-hit-by-foul-ball-at-dodger-stadium-and-its-time-to-take-immediate-action/ Source where the picture was from Cody Bellinger fan that was injured.

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