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Death at Dodger Stadium Sure To Raise Further Discussions of Fan Protection

Los Angeles DodgersThe death of a fan after being struck by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium last summer will certainly ignite further discussions of how much netting is appropriate at professional ballparks.

Linda Goldbloom, a longtime Dodgers fan attending an Aug. 25 San Diego Padres-Los Angeles Dodgers game, was in her Loge level seat at Dodger Stadium when she was struck by a foul ball in the top of the ninth inning. This area is not protected by netting, which had been expanded at Dodger Stadium to the ends of the dugouts. But expanded netting did not include any vertical extensions.

The death was first reported by ESPN:

“Ushers came down and asked if she was all right, and she said no, then EMT came and rushed her to the hospital — she threw up in the ambulance,” Goldbloom’s daughter, Jana Brody, said.

Goldbloom, a longtime Dodgers fan, was celebrating her recent 79th birthday and 59th wedding anniversary with her husband, Erwin, brother-in-law Michael and sister-in-law Eve.

For three days, Goldbloom was unresponsive, Brody said, except when a nurse saw her move one finger one time upon being asked whether her name was Linda. Her eyes never opened at the hospital, and a ventilator kept her breathing.

She was taken off life support on Aug. 29 and pronounced dead on Aug. 29.

The incident was not reported in the media, and the Dodgers and Goldbloom family came to an agreement regarding the incident, according to the team. In MLB history three fans have died after being struck by foul balls, the last coming in 1970 — at Dodger Stadium.

The incident will surely raise discussions about how much netting in appropriate at MLB ballparks. When MLB announced extended-netting initiatives for the 2018 season, fans took to social media, complaining that the new netting running to the ends of the dugouts would impact their views of the field. However, with new netting being slimmer and less intrusive than older netting types, those complaints lessened throughout the season, and they apparently are now an accepted part of the ballpark experience. Still, there’s room for improvement, especially when it comes to foul balls launched directly behind home plate and perhaps extended the netting all the way down to the foul poles.

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