Two U.S. Senators from Illinois are pushing Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to collect and report data on fans injured by foul balls at baseball games. Tammy Duckworth (D) and Dick Durbin (D) are hoping the results of that study will provide more transparency on the issue.
In a statement, Duckworth and Durbin said the data would “provide a more honest dialogue and help protect baseball’s biggest (and littlest) fans.”
Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are now calling on Rob Manfred for MLB to provide data on fan injuries from foul balls: pic.twitter.com/au3mbtoPxc— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) August 7, 2019
A number of fans have suffered serious injuries due to foul balls this season. A 2-year-old fan suffered a fractured skull in May, a Los Angeles Dodgers fan was hit in June, a 3-year-old got hit in July and a Texas Rangers fan was hospitalized in August.
Many players have come out in support of netting following those injuries. Francisco Lindor, a number of players on the Oakland Athletics, Jon Lester and Albert Almora Jr., Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell and many others have expressed a desire to see more protective netting.
A few teams have done that. Some have added extended netting down the lines already, while others have promised to have it installed by 2020. The Chicago White Sox opted to install protective netting from foul pole to foul pole in the middle of the 2019 season.
While Duckworth and Durbin aren’t pushing Manfred to make major changes just yet, seeing a list of all the injuries and hospital visits caused by foul balls in one place could be the thing that motivates some teams to finally take action.
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