MLB: The Case for Extending Netting the Length Foul Line

In the MLB and baseball in general, there have been situations where, at ballparks, people have been struck by foul balls in the stands. There have been many scenarios that have led to injury and sadly, much worse than that. All it takes is a lapse in concentration by a fan, and in the next millisecond, the ball can ricochet off someone in the forehead. Sports talk radio shows discuss this issue often. What is disappointing is that the time for action occurs when someone’s life is taken and only then is the reaction strong. There isn’t the same type of urgency before it happens. The National Hockey League has found out the hard way with pucks flying into the stands. That’s why there is a netting behind each goal. NASCAR has a catch fence in case a stock car gets airborne or a loose tire flies over the track. 

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For this reason, the MLB needs to extend the netting as they do in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series. There have been enough of these moments that the netting should reach the foul pole in every ballpark. No questions asked! In saying all of that, I realize that no matter what technological advances are made, even the best intentions cannot always prevent something bad happening. Whether it’s on the diamond, rink, or race track. A freaky bounce can still occur here and there. However, MLB should take every precaution possible.

It is up to the chaperones, who are accompanying young children, to find the right place to sit. Particularly in the front rows. The good news is that the public address announcer, prior to a sporting event, goes over the safety guidelines. They remind people, especially parents or guardians, to keep their eyes open. In fact, stadiums visibly show this on the scoreboard. Even though people not seated behind the outfield do not like having to watch the game through a net and cannot catch a foul ball for a souvenir, I think it is worth the move for MLB. I still think people can still have a pleasant experience with the safety additions.

How would you feel if the MLB extended the netting down the foul line? Leave a comment below.

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Michael Bolesta II
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