2 U.S. senators urge Major League Baseball to extend netting at all ballparks

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta)/Associated Press

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta)/Associated Press

U.S. Sens Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin want Major League Baseball to expand protective netting at all 30 major league ballparks.

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In a letter to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, the two U.S. senators from Illinois, urged the added protection measures, especially after several incidents in which fans have been hit by foul balls.

"In recent weeks, we've seen more disturbing incidents of fans being hit by foul balls," Duckworth and Durbin wrote. "Clearly, more needs to be done to put the safety of fans first."

Rob Manfred Netting Letter  by on Scribd

Officials with the Los Angeles Dodgers plan to extend netting at Dodger Stadium beyond the far edges of the dugouts to protect fans from foul balls. The decision came after a fan was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger on Sunday, according to The Orange County Register.

On Thursday, officials with the Pittsburgh Pirates announced more protective netting will be added to PNC Park.

Several incidents involving fans and foul balls have resulted in more calls for safety.

Kaitlyn Salazar was hospitalized Sunday after being hit by Bellinger's foul ball, the Los Angeles Times reported. Salazar told KABC on Monday she sustained a concussion and is experiencing vision problems in her right eye.

>> Woman injured by Cody Bellinger's foul ball at Dodger Stadium

On Aug. 25, 2018, Linda Goldbloom, 79, was hit by a foul ball during the ninth inning of a game at Dodger Stadium. Goldbloom, who was celebrating her birthday and her 59th wedding anniversary, died four days later after emergency brain surgery, KTLA reported.

>> Family of woman hit, killed by foul ball at Dodger Stadium calls for more safeguards

Another incident occurred May 29, 2019, in Houston, when a 2-year-old girl was struck in the head by a foul ball it by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.The child suffered a skull fracture with associated bleeding and swelling of the brain, the attorney representing the girl's family told the Houston Chronicle, citing hospital records.

>> Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. breaks down after foul ball hits young fan

There have also been incidents at minor league stadiums. On June 1, a boy was hospitalized after being struck by a foul ball at an Indianapolis Indians game.

>> Boy hospitalized after being struck by foul ball at Indianapolis Indians game

"Clearly, more needs to be done to put the safety of fans first," Durbin and Duckworth wrote in their letter to Manfred. "Players are hitting balls with a velocity of more than 100 miles per hour onto the field and into the seated areas. A Bloomberg analysis found nearly 1,800 people annually have suffered foul ball-related injuries while attending games. Extended netting could help prevent many of these injuries."


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