Major League Baseball said today that all 30 ballparks will have protective netting at least to the end of the dugouts when the season starts this spring.
Over the last year or so, several clubs had announced plans to extend the netting, which every park has had for years behind home plate, down the foul lines to protect fans from balls and flying bats. The moves came after a few incidents in which fans were injured, including a high profile incident last September at Yankee Stadium in which a young girl was hospitalized after being hit by a 105 mph foul ball.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this week announced they would extend their netting, bringing to all 30 the number of teams that will have more protective netting in place on Opening Day this year.
“Providing baseball fans with a variety of seating options when they come to the ballpark, including seats behind protective netting, is important,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement released Thursday morning. “Major League Clubs are constantly evaluating the coverage and design of their ballpark netting, and I am pleased that they are providing fans an increased inventory of protected seats.”