Baseball on notice: Fans’ lives matter


Entering a baseball stadium, fans usually have two thoughts in mind: Get on television or catch a foul ball.

The excitement of getting a free souvenir ball drives fans to a mini riot wherever it lands.

However, danger is also a possibility as soon as the ball leaves the bat.

Line drives and broken bats have had an unfortunate relation with stretchers and ambulances this Major League Baseball season.

Issues from this season have forced the league to take action.

“I think the first four rows of all ballparks should be taken out to avoid fan interference and help with safety,” said Delta College Baseball Head Coach Reed Peters.

“This wouldn’t eliminate the need for netting but might help. Netting should be used to the ends of the dugout to help those in the high-risk areas.”

The Philadelphia Phillies are likely thinking the same thing by making plans to enhance the netting behind home plate down the first and third base lines.

According to Bloomberg News, batted balls injure an average of 1,750 spectators every year.

While most incidents result in minor bruises, the 2015 season has encountered an abundance of major injuries.

On June 3, a woman was severely struck by a broken bat at a Boston Red Sox game.

Oakland Athletics’ third baseman Brett Lawrie accidently flung his bat into the crowd behind home plate on the third base side, one of the more dangerous places in a ballpark.

On a separate occasion, during a Detroit Tigers game, a fan was hit by a foul ball while sitting behind home plate.

“The knot on that lady’s head was bigger than the baseball. If that hit her flush on the face she might have died,” said by Tigers’ outfielder Anthony Gose in an interview with ESPN.

“I hope the fan tonight is okay! MLB should make changes before it’s too late,” wrote Star pitcher Justin Verlander on Twitter.

In an incident close to home, Stockton resident, Jamie Hall attended a Stockton Ports game, and was hit on the elbow by a foul ball.

When asked about whether or not nets should be put in place, her reply was easy.

“I do. Especially right after that, someone got nailed in the face and broke his nose,” said Hall in a Facebook message interview.

Hall also believes fans should be more cautious at games.

“It’s like being at a hockey game. If you’re going to sit in the lower level of the arenas, you’re probably going to get hit with something.”

Whether fans may need to be more cautious at games or not, baseball has been put on notice and the league is going to continue to get pushed until changes are made.