After yet another serious injury to a fan, Major League Baseball (MLB) is under increasing pressure to mandate the installation of nets around the foul lines – something which is currently left up to each team.
A female fan sustained a serious head injury at Detroit’s Comerica Park and had to be hospitalized after she was struck by a foul ball hit by Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose.
In another recent incident, a female fan sitting just past the first-base dugout was struck in the head at Wrigley Field and removed on a stretcher, her head and neck in a restraint. While that fan was taken to a local hospital, the one hit later by a piece of bat – who was sitting in the same section as the earlier victim – was treated at the scene.
Earlier this year, a Massachusetts woman was seriously injured at Fenway Park after being hit by a broken bat.
Some baseball insiders have suggested fans need to pay closer attention to the game. However, reacting quickly to a ball rocketing your way at speeds estimated to be between 98 and 106 miles per hour may not be possible.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is among the players demanding nets at where fans are most likely to get hit: near the dugout in the lower deck.
The issue may be decided in court: a lawsuit by an Oakland Athletics season-ticket holder is asking a federal judge to order MLB to extend the safety netting at its ballparks the entire length of the foul lines.