Foul ball incident sparks conversation on baseball fan safety

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A line drive off the bat of Chicago Cubs player goes past the netting, and into the stands slamming into a young fan.

A play that visibly affected the batter, and started the conversation of more safety.

“Nobody wants to see something like that,” said Charlie Henry, Director of Communications for the Indianapolis Indians.

It’s an issue the Indians addressed three seasons ago, when they extended their netting from the backstop to each dugout. While it wasn’t a requirement at the time, it’s now standard in major league ballparks.

“When the nets initially went up there were fans used to that traditional look,” Henry said. “It was really just a perception they had to get over and now it’s truly a non issue.”

However that same increased netting didn’t prevent Wednesday’s incident in Houston. Now many are wondering if the netting will be increased once again.

“There’s no talks that we know of,” Henry said of extending the netting. “As an organization we’re really happy with the net set up we have now, but if something else were to happen we certainly would talk about it.”

While some minor league teams like the Dayton Dragons have netting all through the lower bowl, it’s not a common practice.

At Victory Field, you can commonly see signs throughout the ballpark, and video board asking fans to pay attention and be alert.

“We’re really proud of the Victory Field experience, but stay alert here just like you’d stay alert at any venue that you’re in,” Henry said.

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