The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday that they will extend Guaranteed Rate Field netting from the dugouts to each foul pole, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The news comes after a fan attending a White Sox home game against the Washington Nationals on June 10 was struck by a foul ball and hospitalized. The woman, who was seen holding a bloody towel to her head following the incident, was released the following day.
A young girl was also struck by a foul ball in the Houston Astros’ May 30 home game against the Chicago Cubs. She was hospitalized as well.
Per Passan, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf was the catalyst for the extending netting. A source also told Passan that “high-ranking officials from other teams expect it to have a cascading effect, with teams around the league pledging to extend netting,” perhaps before the end of the 2019 season.
MLB required teams to extend netting from dugout to dugout before the 2018 season, but a move from foul pole to foul pole in all 30 MLB stadiums appears inevitable.
Another child was struck by a foul ball during the St. Louis Cardinals’ home game versus the Miami Marlins on Monday. He was thankfully fine and returned to his seat, but others have not been as fortunate.
Per Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago, the White Sox will be the first team in MLB to install protective netting from foul pole to foul pole.