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Safety Newsbeat

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stephen King: Protective netting at Fenway? Thanks, but no thanks

These are just a few of the more serious injuries, those that have been reported in the press. There are plenty more. According to a Bloomberg News report, 1,750 fans are injured in game-related incidents every year. That’s more than the number of batters hit by pitches (about 1,500, according to the Elias Sports Bureau). But almost 74 million fans attended MLB games in 2015, so the chances of being struck by a piece of bat or a foul line drive are pretty slim. Right up there with getting struck by lightning, I’d say. Maybe even less, if the fan is paying attention. Close to the field at Fenway, fans are specifically instructed to do just that by signs reading BATS AND FOUL BALLS HURT! PAY ATTENTION!

There are questions inherent in the decision to net, and I think they’re bigger than baseball. Like when does protection become overprotection? Is the safety of a fan at a public event like a baseball game the responsibility of the organization putting on that event? (According to the back of every MLB ticket sold, the fan is responsible.) When do safety precautions begin to steal away the pure joy of being there?

 


 

 

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