Fans, lawmakers question MLB safety after recent foul ball injuries
Washington National's fan Eugene Chu was at a baseball game with friends, when the unexpected happened.
"It felt like getting hit from a hard punch," said Chu.
He took a line drive, foul ball straight to the face.
“Part of the reason why I was lucky, was that I was wearing sunglasses," he said. "They managed to deflect and absorb part of the blow so I didn’t have any serious injuries."
Chu is one of the lucky ones.
Some fans have been seriously injured by foul balls, prompting several teams to install safety netting along the first and third base lines- right where Eugene was sitting that fateful day.
The Nationals installed the extra netting just a few weeks after Chu was hit.
“We want to protect our fans, the children, the adults, everyone that comes to the game," said Scott Fear Nationals Vice President of Public Safety & Security. "We want to make sure they are having a great time without getting hurt."
But some lawmakers are hoping for more. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred urging the MLB to compile and release foul ball injury data.
However, according to an MLB spokesperson, the decision does not lie with the Commissioner. While fan safety is a priority, the amount and location of protective netting has always been an issue left up to the individual clubs.
As of Thursday, the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals have already extended their foul ball netting.
The Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to do so by the end of the season.