More MLB teams agree to extend protective netting after fans hit by foul ball

Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Update 2:52 p.m. EDT June 27: Officials with the Pittsburgh Pirates have announced more protective netting will be added to PNC Park.

Team president Frank Coonelly said Thursday:

"We have once again engaged our netting experts to reevaluate our protective netting design and to immediately develop a plan to extend the protective netting at PNC Park farther down the baselines. While we have put these efforts on a very fast track, we are committed to developing the right plan for PNC Park -- one that will increase fan safety while also preserving and enhancing the overall game day experience to the greatest degree possible."

Original report:

The Los Angeles Dodgers plan to extend netting at Dodger Stadium to protect fans from foul balls and possibly prevent a recurrence of an incident Sunday, when a fan was hit in the head, The Orange County Register reported.

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Stan Kasten, team president and CEO, said discussions have been continuing since the netting was extended to the far ends of the dugouts at Dodger Stadium, adding that plans to add more netting down the foul lines will be announced "in the next couple weeks," the newspaper reported.

"We have been talking for some time with different providers and looking at different options," Kasten told the Register. "Surely we will be expanding netting. I don't know yet the final configuration. Obviously, there are some different choices to be made and different products which each come with their own set of challenges."

The Dodgers are the third team to announce they will extend the netting in their ballpark, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals also said they would extend the netting from the end of their stadium's dugouts to the foul poles, the newspaper reported.

In 2018, all 30 major league stadiums expanded protective netting to at least the far ends of each dugout, according to The Washington Post.

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

A young woman was hospitalized Sunday after being hit by a foul ball off the bat of Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, the Los Angeles Times reported. Kaitlyn Salazar told KABC on Monday that she sustained a concussion and is experiencing vision problems in her right eye. Salazar was sitting four rows from the field on the first-base side at Dodger Stadium.

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

Salazar told KABC she was getting up from her seat during the first inning to go to the restroom when she was struck by Bellinger's line drive.
"When I was blinking, everything went dark," Salazar told the television station. "And then came out in dark and light.

"It all happened fast."

On Aug. 25, 2018, 79-year-old Linda Goldbloom 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 young girl was struck in the head by a foul ball it by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.

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

There have been incidents at minor league stadiums, too. 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

Kasten said the time frame for putting up the netting has yet to be determined, but said it was "likely" it would be done before the end of the season, the Register reported.

“I can’t say that for sure, although I think it’s likely,” Kasten told the newspaper. “For sure, something is going to be done. As for the exact timing, I don’t know that yet.”

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