All 30 Major League Baseball stadiums will have extended netting along the foul lines for Opening Day this season, the league announced Thursday.
“Providing baseball fans with a variety of seating options when they come to the ballpark, including seats behind protective netting, is important,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Clubs are constantly evaluating the coverage and design of their ballpark netting and I am pleased that they are providing fans an increased inventory of protected seats.”
Extended netting will be in place to at least the far ends of all dugouts throughout the league, including Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, after a series of high-profile injuries caused by flying bats and baseballs at big league stadiums.
The conversation picked up steam after a highly-publicized incident at Yankee Stadium last season, when a foul ball line drive off the bat of New York Yankees infielder Todd Frazier struck a young fan, leaving her seriously injured.
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The decision to extend netting is similar to the reaction of the NHL after a young girl was struck and killed by a flying puck in 2002. The league mandated that teams place netting behind each goal after the incident, which occurred at a Columbus Blue Jackets game.