As the Little League World Series came to an end last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the netting up and down its baselines of Williamsport.
Obviously, Little League makes it a priority to ensure fan safety.
It’s now time Major League baseball does the same.
Of course, these young boys of the LLWS don’t have the bat speed of a Giancarlo Stanton, and nor are they fouling off fastballs from Alrosdis Chapman.
But you can’t tell me that a foul ball coming off one of those aluminum and composite bats couldn’t possibly kill a fan.
In MLB, there are balls humming off the bats, not to mention full and broken bats flying into the stands. My question to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is “Why not?”
Why not make this a safer game?
On June 5 at Fenway Park, a woman suffered life-threatening injuries after being struck in the head by a shattered bat. The fan needed surgery and currently faces a long recovery.
Most recently, there was a death at an Atlanta Braves game. A male fan fell more than 40 feet from the upper deck at Turner Field on Aug. 30.
MLB has done extensive research and studied where balls and bats most frequently go into the stands and also solicited fan input. Every MLB ballpark is constructed so dynamically that nothing is guaranteed, practical or foolproof.
Every fan knows what’s at risk when you step in a MLB ballpark, especially those who pay top dollar for the high-risk seats.
But given how much money is poured into these stadiums, not just in baseball but in the sporting world, perhaps stadium safety should be considered.
You know the old cliché.
But if you can make the game safer and decrease the episodes we’ve witnessed this season, Rob Manfred, you have to do it.
Don’t let the death of a hard working fan be the reason you take initiative.