MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday the league would “redouble” efforts to add safety netting at MLB stadiums for the 2018 season.
Safety netting has been a hot topic around baseball following the scary incident Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, in which a 2-year-old girl sitting behind the third-base dugout was struck in the face by a 105 mph foul ball.
Child gets hit by a foul ball at Yankees game. The players’ reactions say it all. pic.twitter.com/YIyaBJq7tT
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) September 20, 2017
The girl remained hospitalized Thursday, but is reportedly “doing all right,” according to multiple media reports.
Manfred called the incident “extremely upsetting,” but said in a statement the league would push for more netting at ballparks.
“Over the past few seasons MLB has worked with our clubs to expand the amount of netting in our ballparks,” Manfred said, via ESPN. “In light of yesterday’s event, we will redouble our efforts on this important issue.”
Yahoo Sports reported Thursday only 10 of 32 MLB ballparks had extended safety netting to cover the area all the way to the front of both dugouts, per a 2015 MLB recommendation. The Mariners were one team to announce expanded netting on Thursday.
“This is an issue that we’ve been concerned about for some time,” Mariners president Kevin Mather said. “We still have some details to work out, but the bottom line is expanded netting at Safeco Field is going to happen.”
According to ABC News, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent a letter to Manfred Thursday urging him to “put the safety of your fans first” and mandate expanded netting at all 30 MLB ballparks.
On Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds announced they would add netting in those areas in the offseason, and the Rockies are in discussions to do the same.
Ironically, the Yankees had issued a statement on the team’s website in August that they were “seriously exploring” extending netting at the stadium for 2018.