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Thursday, September 21, 2017

MLB, Rob Manfred must expand protective netting | SI.com

Nets to the ends of the dugout wouldn’t have helped this child. Bringing a toddler to a game, sitting that close, and not paying attention is just stupid.

There are enough cases for Major League Baseball to merit mandatory protective netting to, at least, the ends of each dugout. Maybe Wednesday’s incident will be what prompts significant change.

If it doesn’t, then somebody will eventually be killed by a foul ball. And then they’ll have to make a change.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 21, 2017 at 07:56 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ball parks, yankees

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   1. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:14 AM (#5535624)
Those screamers like Frazier hit are the absolute worst. You can be 100% locked-in on the game and still get drilled with a laser like that. I'll sit there with ballgame broskies...but if I'm with my kids, we're behind the net or upstairs.
   2. BDC Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:27 AM (#5535633)
The most dangerous areas are always ones not quite covered by the net, where you assume you're protected but you aren't. In some parks you are OK (let's say) between rows 1 and 30 behind the plate (net), and from rows 33 and up (where a foul straight back will hit the overhang before it hits you); but in rows 31-32 you could have your head shaved off if the angle is just right.

The usual responses are "it hasn't happened yet" (because it would be a freak occurrence in any given seat, true; but the incidents cataloged in TFA show that it does happen); and "anyway, the cost-effectiveness of spending on a better net is not worth it to prevent the slight chance of maiming a customer down the road."

So there's a bit of a paradox, because if you extend netting (without completely sealing off the seats) there are more and more seats in the ambiguous areas (now down the baselines, as in this incident) which are just exposed. Vigilance goes down but the danger remains.

   3. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:31 AM (#5535635)
The danger to pitchers and the patrons is yet another side effect to the modern game's "Swing at every pitch as hard as you can even if you look like a flailing oaf" approach.
   4. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5535640)
I saw a man's eyeglasses explode into his face after a Richard Hidalgo screaming foul ball, and this guy knew it was coming, was trying to catch it and we were way down the line, probably 280ft. It seems to me the dominant danger zone is right over the dugouts and back in that row 10-18 zone. A sliced foul ball comes in like that and there's nowhere to hide.
   5. Bote Man Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5535651)
America: The Risk-Free Society.
   6. Sunday silence Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:57 AM (#5535654)
That's such an ignorant thing to say. You have the ability to protect kids and probably elderly from getting a potentially fatal line drive to the face by doing a very minimal thing.

One wonders what sort of risks you expect your own children to be exposed to.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5535656)
I feel like an SDI-style laser system is our best best.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5535661)
I've taken a glove to one game as an adult - I felt like an idiot, and won't do it again - but I found that having the glove on my hand made me absolutely convinced that every swing was going to send a ball my way.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:16 AM (#5535675)
I don't particularly like the netting. I find it distracting and as someone who loves to take pictures I find it gets in the way. That's selfish I know but I think there are enough places one can safely sit that it's not necessary.

#6 raises a valid point but I would argue that if someone is concerned about sitting that close they shouldn't buy those tickets. What I think teams should be required to do is notify customers when a seat is in a "high risk zone" and if a fan attends a game and suddenly feels uncomfortable they should be allowed to move to a safer seat.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:17 AM (#5535678)
You know where MLB's big lawsuit is going to come from? Vendors. I am always amazed at the hot dog, beer and peanut vendors who are down by those seats with their backs to the field. One of those guys is going to get absolutely smoked one of these days.
   11. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5535685)
From all the talk about this netting, you'd kind of expect the history of baseball to be littered with spectator corpses.

Have there been any recorded foul-ball deaths?
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:39 AM (#5535697)
Have there been any recorded foul-ball deaths?


None that I can find at the MLB level.

Of course, there were no recorded pucks-in-the-stands deaths until there was one and the NHL came to their senses and extended the netting behind the nets.

Is that the strategy that MLB should use as well?

Edit: Mike Coolbaugh was killed by a foul ball in the minors, but he was in the field of play at the time and was paying attention to the game.
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5535699)
you'd kind of expect the history of baseball to be littered with spectator corpses.


Not corpses, but how about injuries?

The article quotes 1475 foul-ball related injuries in 2014, and then it points out all the serious injuries that have happened in the past few years.
   14. simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5535701)
One wonders what sort of risks you expect your own children to be exposed to.


Having an idiot for a parent would seem to carry all sorts of risks.
   15. TDF, FCL Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5535703)
Of course, there were no recorded pucks-in-the-stands deaths until there was one and the NHL came to their senses and extended the netting behind the nets.
I was at that game (only Blue Jackets game I ever went to, but not because of that). It didn't seem like a big deal at the time - she walked out of the arena.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5535704)
and if a fan attends a game and suddenly feels uncomfortable they should be allowed to move to a safer seat.


At sold out ballparks, where are these unused "safer seats"?
   17. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5535708)
At sold out ballparks, where are these unused "safer seats"?


As a practical matter there aren't too many truly sold out games around baseball and I imagine there are quite a few people who would be willing to exchange their seats as well. It's a fair question but I don't think it's one that would prove to be difficult to answer. Hell, work with season ticket holders "your seats are in a designated safe zone. If a fan in the "at risk" seats requests to switch with you at a game you attend would you be willing to switch?"
   18. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5535713)
Not to be wishy-washy, but I am both in favor of extended netting and also think the coverage is a bit hysterical. And I think that girl's parents were morons.
   19. John DiFool2 Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5535716)
I've taken a glove to one game as an adult - I felt like an idiot, and won't do it again -


I do it all the time, and see a number of other adults with one. Not sure what the big deal is.
   20. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5535719)
And I think that girl's parents were morons.


Grandparents.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5535721)
Have there been any recorded foul-ball deaths?


At least one - details here. A 14-year-old kid sitting behind the dugout was hit in the temple by a foul ball from Manny Mota in a game at Dodger Stadium, and died three days later.

The blog post in question also mentions a spectator at a AAA game who was killed by a foul ball in 1960.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5535722)
I do it all the time, and see a number of other adults with one. Not sure what the big deal is.


Because it's not cool.

Really, that's it. Who cares? Bring a glove, catch a foul ball, have some fun.
   23. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5535730)
I've brought my glove to every game I've attended. Even the upper deck.


At least one - details here.

Thanks, Vlad.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5535734)
I am SO MUCH cooler than you guys!!
   25. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5535738)
That's a low bar Fish.
   26. DL from MN Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:20 AM (#5535750)
Minor league games have even less netting and (from my experience) even fewer people paying attention with more alcohol consumption than MLB games. St Paul Saints games are basically an expensive bar with a cover charge, oh and a baseball game happens too. Mobile phone use is now actively encouraged at ballgames with team-sponsored games and giveaways. None of those factors will help someone react to a foul ball.
   27. catomi01 Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5535783)
Minor league games have even less netting and (from my experience) even fewer people paying attention with more alcohol consumption than MLB games. St Paul Saints games are basically an expensive bar with a cover charge, oh and a baseball game happens too. Mobile phone use is now actively encouraged at ballgames with team-sponsored games and giveaways. None of those factors will help someone react to a foul ball.


Minor League stadiums built before 2001/2002-ish also still have there seats facing "straight-ahead" instead of angled toward homeplate...so anyone not actively paying attention to the game pitch by pitch is at risk - along with the fact that just about everywhere in the ballpark is in range of a hard-hit foul ball. I saw way too many close call when I worked for teams.
   28. BDC Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5535808)
I wouldn't bring a glove because I'm afraid I'd lose the glove.

I did get a foul ball a few weeks ago, for the first time in 53 years of going to games. Ninth inning of a blowout, I moved into a now mostly empty section behind the plate (and well behind the net). This was a lazy popup that a guy a couple of rows behind me muffed. It rolled to my feet and the etiquette is, you don't give it to the guy who dropped it … I swear I would have given it to a little kid, if any little kids had been nearby at 11pm that night :)
   29. BobT Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5535828)
I went to a game at Tiger Stadium the year before it closed. I had a seat in the lower deck, but then moved up to the upper deck for the 9th inning to see how it was.

Troy Percival was pitching for the Angels. The Tigers hitters were fouling balls back up. Balls were just whizzing all around. I decided to go back down.

Side note: I got to go to one game at Tiger Stadium and it didn't even make it to 2 1/2 hours.
   30. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5535831)
You know where MLB's big lawsuit is going to come from? Vendors. I am always amazed at the hot dog, beer and peanut vendors who are down by those seats with their backs to the field. One of those guys is going to get absolutely smoked one of these days.


I was always on the lookout as a food vendor. The one time I was smoked by a foul ball, I was selling soft pretzels and was lugging one of those big blue Coleman coolers. I was just past the 1B dugout at Co Stadium, by the photo pit, and the cooler was being braced on the railing by right arm, back to field, selling a pretzel. A right handed batter sliced one and it blasted that cooler, knocking that cooler out of my control and making one loud ass 'doooooong' sound.

Actually, the risk for vendors and foul balls were loser fans running you over in an effort to try and chase a foul ball.
   31. winnipegwhip Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5535867)
Last month my wife and I are sitting in the stands of an amateur game. Our friends show up with their daschaund dog. My wife is sitting to my left and as I reach down to pick up the dog to hold, a foul ball flies back and lands in 8 inch gap between my wife and me. It sits there on her purse. Both of us were unawarw until it landed.

Another friend comes over and says to me that is typical of me. My wife almost gets hit by a foul ball and I am more concerned about playing with my wiener.
   32. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5535872)
I've covered my thoughts here before - here a few.

1) For those who don't know, my son was seriously injured by a foul ball at a daycare outing many years ago. (I was hypervigilant throughout the game but not in my seat at the time of the incident. Also, I'm (I hope) not an idiot.) Though he now has some significant issues, I don't believe that they are related to said beaning. I talked a bit about it in this thread.

2) An individual's risk of injury is really low - that's why I still go to games, why I take my kids to them. But that's a decent number of injuries in total - if adding netting were relatively costless - zero impairment to fans, people didn't care about getting foul balls, they were free to manufacture, purchase, and install - they'd be there.

That said, there are costs. So, I'm curious as to:
- how much does it impair the viewing experience? Obviously, varies by person and (presumably) by net. I've been behind ones that are annoying and ones that I no longer notice after a few minutes.
- how much does it detract from my attendance if I don't have a real shot at getting a foul ball? For me, close to zero - for some of you, I imagine it's a big deal.
- what does it cost teams to put them in? Right now, clubs are largely innoculated from the costs of injury - when my son's face was fractured, he spent days in the hospital, weeks seeing doctors to determine the long-term impact of his injuries ... I bore the entirety of the bill (medical and otherwise*), the team's costs were small outside of negative PR (which I'm guessing had close to no impact). It's an externality not really talked about it in these threads.

In general, I suspect that I'd favor more netting, making sure it was as unobtrusive as possible (shouldn't we be able to produce thinner, really strong cords?), still leaving much of the park unblocked. (In the Braves' case described in the article I'm pulling this comment from, only 5.6% of the seats are behind netting.)

3) Incidentally, where my kid was hit was in the left field corner ... where there were seats literally facing away from the field (a picnic area). While I was super-attentive during the game, most people around me were not. Could be small sample size but I've seen a fair number of screamers get launched into that area -- I'd want to see data before conjecturing too much beyond the anecdotes I've already given.
(Note: I'm not particularly inclined to have netting there.)


* the 'otherwise' was a lot higher than the five figure med bills
   33. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5535880)

Edit: Mike Coolbaugh was killed by a foul ball in the minors, but he was in the field of play at the time and was paying attention to the game.


I was at that game, and anecdotally (though this is backed up by many media reports) he wasn't watching the ball. His head was turned watching the fielders' trying to determine if anybody was covering second so he might send the base runner. Also, I've always found it weird that the response to that was to put helmets on the base coaches. He was hit well below the helmet line.
   34. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5535916)
This is off topic, I'm sorry, but none of the links at the bottom of this website work and I can't reach anyone via other methods. Does anyone know who owns and/or manages this website and how I can reach them?

Thank you
   35. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5535956)
Years ago in Cooperstown I did a study on ballpark deaths. I don't have the work in front of me, but as I recall I found about 100-125 deaths in ballparks in the major leagues, minor leagues, college, and semi-pro going back to the early 20th century. There were several heart attacks, a stroke or two, a few people choked to death. We've had people fall from structures, and even one man that was electrocuted. Someone above mentioned the incident involving a ball hit by Manny Mota. That death was the only one I found that was caused by a batted foul ball, and I believe it remains the only time it's ever happened.

The overwhelming cause of death at ballgames has been weather and most deaths have occurred on the field of play. If memory serves, I found about 40 people killed by lightning, all of them were players or coaches or umpires. So, players and coaches and umpires have been far more likely to die at games over the years. Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be vigilant and protect everyone. This latest incident is sad.

We should look at using nets to protect people, but teams need to make that determination. Fans should also understanding the risks involved. Buyer beware, if you will.

I'm more worried about a death on the field. Those pitchers and on-deck batters are very close. Or a foul ball could nail someone in the dugout. I've seen close calls. The Steve Yeager incident was very nearly the second major league player death in history, and it was somewhat of a fluke, but it involved the on-deck circle. That could happen again.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5535965)
The Steve Yeager incident was very nearly the second major league player death in history, and it was somewhat of a fluke, but it involved the on-deck circle. That could happen again.


And it did, to Juan Encarnacion. I really don't understand why something isn't done about that.
   37. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5535974)
And it did, to Juan Encarnacion. I really don't understand why something isn't done about that.


Thanks for mentioning Encarnacion. Oddly, I was at a game in Tiger Stadium in 1999 when Encarnacion was hit in the mouth by a pitch from Blake Stein of the Royals. He suffered a fractured cheekbone and broken nose. It was a terrible scene, with blood all over his uniform and in the batters' box. I'd never seen anything like it. He looked like he'd been in the ring for a boxing match. And then for him to be hit in the eye like he was later with the Cardinals...very unlucky.

That was the next-to-the-last game ever played in Tiger Stadium, and Encarnacion missed the final game the next day.
   38. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5535980)
My three on field pet peeves are;

- on deck circles
- in play bullpens
- exposed brick walls (e.g. Camden Yards)

Those all just seem like things that have no useful upside and lots of possible downside. At least the Astros finally got rid of that stupid Tal's Hill.
   39. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5535986)
Ballparks used to have signs that read "No pepper". Someone once told me the reason for banning the game at ballparks was "fan safety". But I have never heard of a fan being hit by a ball batted during a pepper game.

exposed brick walls (e.g. Camden Yards)


Pete Reiser nearly became the second on-field death in MLB when he collided with a brick wall in Pittsburgh (I believe it was). He was given last rights. Ditto Mickey Cochrane a few years earlier when he was hit by a Bump Hadley pitch and hovered near death for a day or so. His playing career was finished.

It's only a matter of time before a pitcher is hit in the head by a 110 MPH batted ball as he stands about 54 feet from home plate. Can you imagine how dreadful that would be, broadcast on TV, the internet, your smart phone? Ugh.
   40. TDF, FCL Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5535988)
I've taken a glove to a game just one time.

I was visiting my brother in Charleston SC in '05, and the RiverDogs were in the playoffs. I paid for front row seats for my brother, nephew and I, just past the 1st base dugout. I told my nephew to make sure he took his glove because we were sure to get a ball hit our way and I took one as well. Because of where we were, I made sure to pay close attention to the hitters and the batted balls.

Needless to say, there wasn't a foul ball down the RF line the entire game. I don't even think either 1B fielded a ball.
   41. madvillain Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5536033)
Nice post #35. There is risk in going to the ballpark. I personally don't mind the low odds that I'll be looking down at my beer and a lighting bolt (from God or off the bat) might render me badly injured or even dead.

I'm sure the teams and MLB and other patrons will have differing opinions but that's mine. Netting behind home plate makes a lot of sense as the risk is much higher (as seen numerous times when the blue blood in the 1st row looking down at his phone gets a wakeup call from a ball fouled straight back). I'm not sure extending the netting down the 1st and 3rd base lines makes sense.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5536053)
Also, I've always found it weird that the response to that was to put helmets on the base coaches. He was hit well below the helmet line.


He could have just as easily been hit above the helmet line. There really wasn't any reason coaches weren't wearing helmets, given they were standing on the field of play. And, after the requisite 15 minutes of ######## by Larry Bowa and friends, it's become the complete non-issue that should have been expected.
   43. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5536067)
It's only a matter of time before a pitcher is hit in the head by a 110 MPH batted ball as he stands about 54 feet from home plate.


Not sure if it was 110MPH but he took a bad one.

McCarthy

EDIT: The last game I went to in Oakland I was picking out tickets and decided to sit right behind home plate rather than where I usually sit near the bullpens. My girlfriend isn't a big baseball person so I figured a net was the way to go. Plus you can catch foul balls but they are popups rather than line drive screamers.
   44. Tim D Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5536072)
Baseballs are dangerous. Always have been always will be. Safety has been ramped up throughout the game's history. Nets behind home plate weren't always there. Helmets didn't come in until the 60s. If MLB thinks customers are unreasonably at risk they should take steps to mitigate the risk. The question is what is unreasonable. It is far more likely one will get injured crossing a street on the way into the stadium than they will get hurt by a batted baseball. Far more likely one will be hurt on the drive to or from the game. I don't think there is an unreasonable risk now. If you don't like foul balls sit somewhere else. Poll the fans who sit behind the dugouts, do you want nets or not? Personally I prefer to sit there, largely because I like to be close and I hate looking through the net. Take that away and the 30-50 pro games I go to a year would be halved.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5536074)
That's such an ignorant thing to say. You have the ability to protect kids and probably elderly from getting a potentially fatal line drive to the face by doing a very minimal thing.

One wonders what sort of risks you expect your own children to be exposed to.


Yes. Don't sit in those seats. There are 30,000+ seats in every park where line drives aren't a danger. And, they're cheaper too!
   46. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5536086)
Those screamers like Frazier hit are the absolute worst. You can be 100% locked-in on the game and still get drilled with a laser like that. I'll sit there with ballgame broskies...but if I'm with my kids, we're behind the net or upstairs.

I almost got brained by one of these at a Giants game. I was down in the corporate box, 3rd base side, about 10 rows up. Top of the first inning, first batter, we're just settling in. I had a turkey sandwich in one hand, and a beer in the other. Second pitch, the batter (a lefty) hits a screaming check-swing liner right at my head. I didn't even have time to move, and it whizzed past my head maybe 6 inches from my right ear and clanged off a seat a couple of rows behind me.

One of the 2 or 3 scariest experiences of my life. 8-9 inches to the left, and I get it square in the face.

They were great seats, but I'll never ask to sit there again. If I'm down on the field level in the future, it's either going to be far enough down the line that I know I have time to react, or behind the plate and behind the netting.
   47. DL from MN Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5536088)
Not sure why baseball hasn't done something simple like putting the on-deck batter behind the batter for warmups like they do in fastpitch softball (LH batter, use 1B on-deck circle; RH batter, use 3B on-deck circle). This costs literally nothing to implement.
   48. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5536117)
The Toronto Blue Jays used to have a promotion with TD (bank) that a lucky pair of fans would get seats in the "TD Comfort Zone". These were big green padded lay-z-boy style chairs in a special section right down the first base line in the front row (next to the photographers section). You'd have ballpark food/drinks delivered to you, and you'd enjoy the game in comfort in these awesome seats.

Buck Martinez (Jays TV play-by-play guy) and Jerry Howarth (Jays radio pbp guy) would often comment how that last foul ball just missed the TD comfort zone patrons, and often make a comment about how dangerous it was to sit there. After about two seasons of risking life and limb, the TD Comfort Zone was moved up to the second deck and put in front of a luxury box area (which became part of the promotion).
   49. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5536127)
It is far more likely one will get injured crossing a street on the way into the stadium than they will get hurt by a batted baseball.


A team doesn't invite fans to cross their private busy street where there is a random chance a taxi will come barreling around the corner and might strike them.

The article talks about almost 1500 injuries from foul balls in 2014 MLB games, so this isn't a "struck by lightning" thing.
And even then, being struck by lightning is rare and people still heed warnings about standing in the open or under a tree during a storm. Basic safety procedures to minimize a huge risk shouldn't be ignored.

Railings on the fifth deck of ballparks are there to stop people from accidentally falling over, even though it would be a rare event to have happen if they didn't exist.
Ball players wear batting helmets, even though being struck in the head happens rarely in a game.
   50. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:46 PM (#5536128)
When I umpired little league, and fastpitch SB (mid 90s) on some diamonds where we really didn't have a behind the fence dugout. I was maniacal about warning benches to get back and calling kids out for throwing the bat (which happens too often at that level). I got whacked in the shin guards often in those games with a bat release. Half those kids are goofing with their friends and there was a high likelihood of a foul ball or bat sailing into the bench area and who knows what would've happened. In retrospect, I can't believe how close those kids were to the batter's box.
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5536141)

Not sure why baseball hasn't done something simple like putting the on-deck batter behind the batter for warmups like they do in fastpitch softball (LH batter, use 1B on-deck circle; RH batter, use 3B on-deck circle). This costs literally nothing to implement.



This is fairly common in travel baseball, and I'm always stunned at the occasional umpire who insists the players have to take their swings in front of their own bench rather than where it's clearly safer.

   52. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5536148)
Most of the little league coaching I do has a strict no on deck circle rule. It's always unusual when they allow it.
   53. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: September 21, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5536226)
Have there been any recorded foul-ball deaths?

Owen Meany's mom was killed by a foul ball.
   54. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:33 PM (#5536371)
How have we not linked the book on the topic?
death at baseball games
   55. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5536452)
Link is broken in #54 ... noticed this on other threads (and the website footer). It appears somehow the HTTP:// gets stripped off these links sometimes.
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5536472)
From all the talk about this netting, you'd kind of expect the history of baseball to be littered with spectator corpses.

Have there been any recorded foul-ball deaths?


I've never heard of any, not even back when seats were a bit closer to the field than they are today.**

That doesn't mean they shouldn't extend the netting, but I'd be more inclined to go with much more explicit warning signs, both at the park and at the point you buy your ticket.

** The picture at the top of the link is of Hilltop Park, the original home of the Highlanders before they became the Giants' tenants at the Polo Grounds.
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:30 PM (#5536473)
Link is broken in #54 ... noticed this on other threads (and the website footer). It appears somehow the HTTP:// gets stripped off these links sometimes.

That's why it's not a bad idea to test your links in the Preview before actually submitting your comment.
   58. dejarouehg Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:28 AM (#5536570)
Thanks for mentioning Encarnacion. Oddly, I was at a game in Tiger Stadium in 1999 when Encarnacion was hit in the mouth by a pitch from Blake Stein of the Royals. He suffered a fractured cheekbone and broken nose. It was a terrible scene, with blood all over his uniform and in the batters' box. I'd never seen anything like it. He looked like he'd been in the ring for a boxing match.


I was at that game as well, sitting upper deck behind home plate. Ironically, it was there that I saw a vendor get drilled by a foul ball in the back. Only time I've seen it happen though I have often wondered about the peril many of them are in, as well as the mascots who parade around the top of the dugout during an inning.



   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:09 AM (#5536577)
The danger to pitchers and the patrons is yet another side effect to the modern game's "Swing at every pitch as hard as you can even if you look like a flailing oaf" approach.
No, it isn't.
   60. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:10 AM (#5536578)
That's such an ignorant thing to say. You have the ability to protect kids and probably elderly from getting a potentially fatal line drive to the face by doing a very minimal thing.
...that interferes with lots of people's enjoyment of the game.
One wonders what sort of risks you expect your own children to be exposed to.
All of them that won't get DYFS involved. (The risk of idiotic government bureaucrats is the real danger in the U.S.). I take my kids to games and sit up close. (Mostly minor league games.). I deal with the risk by warning my kids to pay attention. (We take gloves, too.). Not by telling everyone else that their enjoyment has to be lessened. If they get hurt, it's something bad that happened, not something that other people are responsible for.
   61. BDC Posted: September 22, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5536621)
I take my kids to games and sit up close. (Mostly minor league games.). I deal with the risk by warning my kids to pay attention. (We take gloves, too.). Not by telling everyone else that their enjoyment has to be lessened. If they get hurt, it's something bad that happened, not something that other people are responsible for

That's fine, but extrapolated, it's an argument for no backstop at all. No-net baseball would appeal to adult daredevils, and to parents who wanted to submit their kids to full-on Darwinian hazing :)

(I assume) everyone agrees there has to be some netting. And there will always be a most-dangerous seat; the question is how dangerous.
   62. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5536783)
sorry for the busted link, (always tricky w the smartphone)

Death at the Ballpark
   63. SandyRiver Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5536788)
Incidentally, where my kid was hit was in the left field corner ... where there were seats literally facing away from the field (a picnic area).


A place like that, which encourages people to NOT pay attention, ought to be protected. Seems made to enrich some ambulance chaser.
   64. base ball chick Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5536830)
I understand that netting is now necessary because there are so many foul balls because there is almost no foul territory

But I hate sitting behind netting. Got. Nice free ticket once in a seat with netting in front of me and I could. Arely concentrate on the game because of the netting so I just went upstairs into the cheap seats
   65. TheHomeRunsOfJuanPierre Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:53 PM (#5536911)
We talk gushingly about technology advancing for swing angles and strike zones and the faster low-seamed basebeall while the tech is farther advanced for netting.

No reason strong, semi-invisible netting isn't in all ballparks in foul zones.

   66. Dale H. Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5537051)
I'm also on the side of whoever it was that said it's an overblown subject (of those 1500 injuries a year, are they counting people with bruised palms from catching a ball?) but "sure, we should go ahead and expand the coverage of the netting".

I've never felt particularly threatened sitting in an exposed seat behind the dugouts, but I'm implicitly aware that there is a risk. I'm more afraid of bats flying into the stands as while they may be at a lower speed, they're substantially more massive and harder to catch/deflect/avoid effectively. Maybe take the biggest oafiest guy with the fastest batspeed and have him hammer throw bats into the stands one day, then set up nets in order to effectively catch all of his offerings. That should also protect all the fans from batted balls. It's hard to believe people 200' from the plate or more don't have time to react.
   67. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 23, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5537328)
When I umpired little league, and fastpitch SB (mid 90s)


That was Eddie Feigner pitching, right?

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