Toronto Blue Jays are extending protective netting at home stadiums
Players, fans have urged MLB to require pole-to-pole netting
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays will extend protective netting at Rogers Centre next season, joining other teams that have taken measures after foul balls injured fans.
The team also announced Tuesday it will extend the nets next season at their spring training home in Dunedin, Fla. The length and height of the new netting hasn’t been determined, the team said.
Last month, the Chicago White Sox became the first team in Major League Baseball to extend protective netting from foul pole to foul pole. The White Sox announced the safety measure in June, a week after a foul ball at their home park sent a woman hit in the head to the hospital.
The Washington Nationals also extended their netting to each foul pole in the middle of this season. Other teams have announced plans for future extensions.
Several fans, including a twoyear-old girl in Houston and a three-year-old boy in Cleveland, have been injured by hard-hit fouls this season. Many players and fans have implored MLB to require pole-to-pole netting at every ballpark.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has said extending protective netting down foul lines is a team decision. Before the 2018 season, MLB mandated netting extended to the far end of each dugout. That’s when the Blue Jays also added 10 feet to the protective screen behind home plate, raising it to 28 feet.