Pressure Grows for Extended Nets at MLB Stadiums After Toddler Hit With Line Drive

Several MLB teams have agreed to extend netting beyond their dugouts after a toddler was hit with a line drive on Wednesday. 

Wednesday’s Twins-Yankees tilt took a tragic turn when a young fan was hit by a foul ball off Todd Frazier’s bat in the fifth inning. The fan, who is reportedly a toddler and was at the game with her grandparents, was hit in the face and taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier saw the incident happen, and was clearly still shaken up after the game.

“Either one: You don’t bring kids down there,” Brian Dozier said. “Or Number Two: Every stadium needs to have nets. That’s it. I don’t care about the damn view of a fan or what. It’s all about safety.”

Many teams have been considering the latter.

The incident put extra pressure on MLB to require that nets extend past the dugouts, something that is not mandatory now. There are 20 teams currently in the league that don’t have protective netting beyond the dugouts, and the Mets, Phillies, Royals, Twins and Nationals are the only teams whose netting extends as far as the end of the dugout.

“The events at yesterday’s game involving a young girl were extremely upsetting for everyone in our game,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. “Over the past few seasons MLB has worked with our clubs to expand the amount of netting in our ballparks. In light of yesterday’s event, we will redouble our efforts on this important issue.”

The Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres all announced Thursday they will be adding additional netting to their respective ballparks by 2018.