SAUGET, IL – A foul ball coming off a major league bat is like a rocket. Fans don’t react quickly and can get injured. Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants safety changes made at major league ballparks, “There’s just no way for fans to entirely protect themselves,” said Senator Durbin.
Senator Durbin took to the Senate floor Tuesday asking Major League Baseball to extend netting from home plate to the right and left-field corners.
Amber Quarles is a St. Louis baseball fan, “If it’s a kid or an adult if it’s for protection, I feel like it’s needed,” said Quarles.
Baseball fans outside Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village supported Durbin. 12-year-old Easton Roseberry said, “If you’re just looking down eating something I don’t think kids will be able to react.”
Last month a youngster escaped serious injury at Busch when hit by a foul ball.
Just weeks before a major league player broke down in tears after hitting a child with a foul ball. Durbin said the girl is still suffering seizures. He quoted what the player said after that game, “I would have put a net around the whole stadium.”
The Gateway Grizzlies are not in the major leagues but they’ve made major improvements in fan safety. They have extended their netting 4 times in the last 15 years with future plans to have it run from home to both foul poles.
The Cardinals’ netting goes to the end of both dugouts. Roger Roseberry is a baseball fan. He said, “Balls coming off 100 plus miles an hour even me that’s going to be tough to react.”
In a statement, the team said fan safety is of paramount importance, they continue to review policies and they remind fans to be vigilant. Some fans think the netting should be even more extensive, “I think they should have the fencing all the way around if they could, it scares me,” said Kelly Roseberry.
Some fans have said the netting makes it difficult to see the game, while others have said people will get used to it and safety is more important.