MLB to Expand Safety Netting at All 30 Stadiums for 2020 Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: A detailed view of safety netting on the foul side of first base near the visiting team's dugout is seen during batting practice prior to the MLB game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 24, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Athletics 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

In an attempt to improve fan safety during games, all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums will have expanded netting next season. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Wednesday that the expanded netting will go "well beyond the dugouts."

The Chicago White Sox were the first team to extend the protective netting around their stadium in June. The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates implemented their own measures soon afterward.

There were calls for more netting in the wake of numerous fans being injured by foul balls. A two-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull when a ball hit by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora struck her in the head during a May 29 game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park

Per ESPN's William WeinbaumLinda Goldbloom died at the age of 79 in August 2018 due to "acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma" stemming from a foul ball that struck her in the head during a game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. 

MLB teams previously had safety netting that extended from dugout to dugout. The new protective measures implemented by the White Sox last season expanded the netting from foul pole to foul pole.