Troy stadium taking safety measures to help protect fans from foul balls

May 30, 2019 06:32 PM

A foul ball hit a young girl in Houston at Wednesday night's Astros-Cubs game. In the stands, crowds tend to the girl while on the field, the man who hit the ball, Chicago Outfielder Albert Almora Jr. collapsed in tears. At one point, he dropped to his knees and then hugged a security guard as he hid his face in his glove.

The girl is expected to be okay, but this raises the question, should more be done to protect fans? Is there any recourse for those who get hit?

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Every general manager in baseball will tell you that the safety of their fans is paramount, and safety is always a "work in progress."

With that said, we know there are many things in life that are inherently dangerous.

Attending a baseball game -- professional or a little league game -- there is potential danger. According to a report by Bloomberg News, more than 1,700 fans are injured by foul balls at Major League Baseball stadiums every year. A warning is even printed on the back of every ticket.

At Joe Bruno stadium in Troy, the safety netting has been extended twice in recent years -- which follows the mandate at major league stadiums.

At one time, the safety netting behind home plate reached the near side of the dugout, then it was extended to reach the middle of the dugout. Just last year, it was extended to protect fans seated all the way to the far end of the dugout. However, there is still no netting above the fans.

Matt Callahan, the general manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats, says fans who come out to see his team play should absolutely feel safe whenever they're at the ball park. He believes the extended netting better protects fans and is responsible for reducing the number of fan injuries in recent years.


Dan Levy & WNYT Staff

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