Avoiding serious injuries.
Will the United States Senate look into the issue of baseball park safety in terms of foul balls and netting? Two Illinois Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have sent letters to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and have asked Manfred to provide some information on foul balls and baseball park safety. Over the past few seasons, a handful of customers have been seriously injured by foul balls and there was a push by various politicians to get both major league and minor league baseball team owners to extend protective netting to protect customers sitting in lower level seats down the first and third base lines. Neither Durbin nor Duckworth issued any threats such as calling Manfred and others to appear before any Senate committee but they did not mince words either.
“We are writing to encourage Major League Baseball to collect and report data about fan injuries at MLB baseball stadiums. This will provide a more honest public dialogue and help protect baseball’s biggest (and littlest) fans. We currently rely on media coverage about foul-ball injuries, which can lead to misinformation and confusion. Fans should have more information about injuries. The creation of an injury registry would help provide the public a better understanding of fan injuries at MLB stadiums and help evaluate the voluntary safety measures that many teams are implementing. In addition, we have been told that teams collect data on areas of fan seating, which are more vulnerable to foul balls. Disclosing that information would help inform fans and their families about the safest locations to sit.” Some Major League Baseball teams have already taken action to extend netting. The Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals have already put up more netting. Baseball traditionalists are unhappy and feel fans should pay more attention to foul balls. Insurance companies and Senators don’t agree.