Do major and minor league baseball teams need to extend the netting to protect their fans?

MLB

Spending the day at the ballpark, cheering on your favorite team is one of the best ways to pass the time. But with all the media attention of more fans getting hit with foul balls during major League games, NewsChannel 6’s Devin Johnson spoke with the General Manager of the Augusta GreenJackets. Brandon Green told Devin, the most important thing for their fans, is safety.

Baseball fans come to games for two reasons. To watch a good game and the hopes of catching a home run. Green says its a tragic incident of seeing fans being seriously injured while enjoying the game. At SRP Park, the general manager says the nets extend more than the majority of minor league baseball fields and some in the majors.

“We have the capability of extending it,” says Green. “So it’s something we are going to look at during the offseason. To see if this is something we should do.”

Green says fans shouldn’t be worried about being injured when coming to watch their hometown team. He urges fans to pay attention to the game, not their apps, while the ball, is in play.

“I wouldn’t think it is something to worry about,” says explained. “You’re here to watch the baseball game, so make sure you’re watching the game at all times.”

One fan told Devin, all baseball clubs should extend its netting all the way.

“With all of the major league teams having trouble, somebody is going to get hurt real bad,” said Eddie Luiter. “They need to extend it on for the safety of the fans.”

Lutier and his wife say they witnessed some fans almost get struck by a few foul balls.

“We were here last night, and a couple of fouls balls was down there, and a couple of people almost got hit,” explained Lutier. “They had to dodge it, and it was some kids down there too.”

If teams do extend the netting, will the change take away experience from the fans?

“Everything we do at the ballpark, we ask our fans,” said Green. “We will keep that in mind in 2020.”

“Even if they have to go up on the tickets to justify it, it would be worth it,” said Luiter. “Because somebody could get hurt seriously and could save a life.”

Some other fans told Devin, even if baseball teams do extend the netting, there is a possibility of the ball coming over the net. Something more clubs will have look at during the offseason.

Photojournalist: Will Baker

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