Extended netting at Progressive Field

Posted at 8:26 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 20:26:09-04

The Tribe hit the field for the first time this season on Tuesday. Fans who were there noticed a new addition at the game--extended netting.

The nets are meant to keep foul balls and cracked bats away from people in the stands. Some have been on the bad end of the crack of a bat or the whizz of a ball, like Tribe fan Matt Marron.  

"I was here and a ball came by, cut a guy's ear, and I caught it. I got a bruise on my hand from catching the ball," Marron said. 

It wasn't the first close call. Fans across the country have been injured by foul balls and cracked bats. 

"There was a fan at a Red Sox game last year that almost died because of a bat," Marron said. 

Extended nets have been installed at Progressive Field, to make sure nothing like that happens again.

Nets were added between the home and visitors dug outs. The canopy net grew as well. 

Curtis Danburg, with the Indians, told extended nets were a priority for Major League Baseball this year.

"30 Major League Baseball teams are following the MLB guidelines," Danburg said.

Danburg added that safety comes first at every ballpark.

"You always want to protect the fans, with fans looking at their phones, or we've added these great new concession stands, your priority at that time might not be looking at the game," he said.