Baseball needs to reduce the risk of fan injury – Chicago Tribune

During Sunday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field, a female fan sitting just beyond the first-base-side camera well was struck by a line drive foul ball hit by Kyle Schwarber. Cubs manager Joe Maddon, responding to a question about additional protective screening, remarked that fans need to “pay attention” every time the ball is pitched.

The advice is solid, but it does not go far enough.

Last Friday in Detroit, a fan sitting behind the Tigers’ dugout was struck by a foul ball hit by Anthony Gose. Gose’s reaction to hearing the ball hit the fan was, “Oh, God.” He noted that “she was talking at first, and then she went out. … The knot on that lady’s head was bigger than a baseball. … If that hit her flush on the face, she might have died.” Gose continued, “Pitchers can’t react fast enough on the mound. How’s a fan going to react? … They can’t. They physically can’t.”

Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander and third baseman Nick Catellanos both called for baseball to improve stadium safety.


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