Foul Ball Strikes Houston Tot, Fans Debate Safety Netting

At Petco Park, the netting that once stopped just before the dugouts behind home plate continues over the dugouts and includes three sections of stands down the first and third base lines.

A girl struck by a foul ball at an MLB game Wednesday has many sports fans discussing the need for more safety netting inside professional ballparks. 

The girl was struck in Houston as the Astros were playing the Chicago Cubs. The girl was picked up by a man and carried up the stairs not long after she was struck. A photo taken by The Associated Press showed the girl apparently conscious and crying as she was whisked away and nearby fans looked on.

The player that hit the foul ball was visibly shaken by the girl's injury.

Getty Images
Albert Almora Jr. of the Chicago Cubs is comforted after a young child was injured by a foul ball off his bat in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros on May 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

In September of 2017, after a string of scary incidents where bats and balls injured spectators at ballparks across the country, the Padres pledged to extend the protective safety netting at Petco Park.

Following recommendations from Major League Baseball, by the start of the 2018 season, all 30 teams including the Padres had expanded their protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts after several fans were injured by foul balls in 2017.

At Petco Park, the netting that once stopped just before the dugouts behind home plate continues over the dugouts and includes three sections of stands down the first and third base lines. 

The net reaches as high as 24-feet and tapers down as it goes along the foul lines.

In light of a frightening incident at another MLB game, NBC 7’s Greg Bledsoe takes a look at the extension of the safety netting at Petco Park.

The Padres used Promats Athletics 1.2 mm Field Green Ultra Cross® Knotless Dyneema® Netting. According to the product’s website it’s a lightweight, open mesh that is dyed green and claims to be the first netting to offer 95 percent spectator visibility. 

Even with the extension required by the MLB, in August 2018, Linda Goldbloom was celebrating her 79th birthday and 59th wedding anniversary with her husband at a Padres-Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium. Goldbloom was struck in the head by a ball that had traveled over the first-base side of home plate protected by netting. She died from brain injury suffered in the incident.

She and her husband were seated in the loge level.

A preliminary hearing for a woman accused of striking an elementary school student with a car and then fleeing the scene began Wednesday morning.

Her daughter told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that she would like to see the height of the netting extended. 

Ed.Note: A previous version of this article did not clarify that the fatal incident involving a foul ball in August 2018 occurred at Dodgers Stadium. We have adjusted the article and regret the error. 

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