The Trenton Thunder are the latest area baseball team to add netting to protect more fans from being hit by foul balls and broken bats.
I think I went to around a dozen games this year where I sat in field level seats. I remember three occasions where I wasn’t sitting behind netting: a game in York, Pa., a game in Kissimmee, Fla., and a game in Trenton.
I’ve gotten used to the nets… I tend to not notice them when I’m watching the game, but they do make it much harder to take photos of game action. For the most part, I know I can leave my camera home these days.
The nets also limit the spots where you can try for autographs before a game… less of a big deal in at MLB facilities where the odds were already against you. We’ll see how it impacts things in minor league facilities. My guess? It won’t have that much of an effect.
In exchange for those inconveniences, we’re safer as we watch the game. Sure, you’ve got people that argue that if you just pay attention, you’ll be able to get out of the way of foul balls.
Watch where professional baseball players have their family members sit at games – they will almost always be behind the net. There’s a reason for that – those line drive foul balls come in really fast.
I’d guess it’s just a matter of time before expanded netting becomes universal at professional ballparks…. and eventually we’ll wonder why it wasn’t there all along.