Despite the death of Shannon Stone at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as he attempted to snare a ball thrown to the stands, Texas Rangers players will continue the practice; meanwhile, many teams are inspecting ballparks for potential trouble spots.
“I’m certainly not going to suggest to our players that we don’t give baseballs away,” Nolan Ryan said Friday. “It’s part of the game.”
It’s not a historic practice — teams discouraged the practice for decades because of the cost of baseballs — but it was adopted as a PR move by Major League Baseball after the 1994 players strike. It worked.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of reports of MLB teams reviewing ballpark safety and determining whether their operations need changing, including the Rangers. There have been six deaths in Major League Baseball since 2008, but three were due to fans trying to slide down railings, including an incident earlier this season at Coors Field.
RELATED STORIES: Fan falls to death at Rangers Ballpark
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they’re posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.