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There are things that hurt more than a crushing playoff loss. Getting hit by a 100-plus mph foul ball is one of them.

With the regular season over and the return of October playoff baseball, NBC News reports that at least 808 people have been injured by flying baseballs since 2012. This number is approximate.

Most of these incidents, which include some cases of people hurting themselves while attempting to catch baseballs entering the stands, do not result in serious injury. But examples of substantial harm are horrifying and still too common.

Some teams, including the Nationals and the Orioles, have installed extensive netting that reaches nearly to the foul poles. The White Sox have netting that reaches the foul poles, like in Japanese stadiums. But 16 teams still have netting that extends only from dugout to dugout.

Opponents of extended netting argue that people occupying close-in seats should closely watch the action at all times. Yet in some cases, with only about a second to react, even attentive fans would have a hard time avoiding a ball hurtling at them.

Because every stadium is built differently, Major League Baseball has shrunk from imposing a stringent pole-to-pole netting standard. But with batters hitting more foul balls than ever, baseball's leaders have to demand more.

Editorial on 10/08/2019

Print Headline: Extend the netting


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