Humboldt Beacon (http://www.humboldtbeacon.com)

A's join other MLB teams in adding safety measure for fans


By Curtis Pashelka, Bay Area News Group

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

OAKLAND – Getting autographs from your favorite baseball player from above the dugouts at the Coliseum might get a bit trickier. But at least the people sitting in those sections will not have to worry as much about a line drive coming right at them.
The A’s announced Tuesday they will expand the protective netting at the Coliseum for at least this season, with the netting extending to the far ends of both dugouts. Most other Major League Baseball teams had already announced similar plans.
The As news release said netting will extend from section 112 to 122 and will be a similar color green to the field grass to minimize its visible impact to fans and television viewers.
We are committed to delivering a great experience while also ensuring the safety of our fans, said A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement. The additional netting coverage is in line with the safety recommendations by Major League Baseball.
The A’s also plan to extend the netting beyond the dugouts at Hohokam Stadium, the team’s spring training ballpark in Mesa, Ariz.
MLB teams began to add the increased safety measure after a young girl was hospitalized last September after she was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, where the netting only extended to between the home plate sides of the dugouts.
Shortly after, the Giants announced they would expand the netting at AT&T Park. The Mariners, Reds, Rockies and Padres also announced at that time they would make changes to their respective ballparks.
According to a report on cbssports.com earlier this month, the As had been one of the few remaining MLB teams that had not yet announced plans to add more protective netting. The Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels announced their plans to do so on Jan. 15. In recent days, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins also announced plans to expand netting.
The As open their Cactus League schedule Feb. 23 against the Angels. They open the regular season at home March 29, also against the Angels.
Information from the Associated Press was used for this story.