The Baltimore Orioles are planning to extend protective netting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Ed Smith Stadium, with netting expected to run to the foul poles at both ballparks.
Conversation about the place of extended netting at ballparks has accelerated in recent months, especially around Major League Baseball. Since a young girl was injured by a foul ball at Houston’s Minute Maid Park in May, several teams around MLB have announced plans to extend the protective netting at their ballparks.
Technically, the Orioles have not made a formal announcement on extended netting and are still working to finalize plans, but the club did confirm to the Baltimore Sun on Friday that it intends to extend netting at both Camden Yards and Ed Smith Stadium, its spring training home in Sarasota. Extended netting would run to the foul poles and be in place by the start of the 2020 season, if not sooner. More from the Baltimore Sun:
Saying they want to ensure fan safety, the Orioles plan to join a small but growing number of Major League Baseball teams that are extending protective netting all the way to the outfield foul poles in the lower sections, team spokesman Greg Bader said Friday.
The club has yet to make a formal announcement….
The new netting will be installed at Camden Yards and at the Orioles’ Sarasota, Fla., spring training stadium “no later than the start of the 2020 season, if not at an earlier point in time,” the team told The Baltimore Sun on Friday.
The Orioles extended netting at both ballparks prior to the 2018 season, with the current protective netting at the facilities running a few sections beyond the dugouts. Since May’s incident at Minute Maid Park, however, there have been questions about whether more teams around baseball should consider running the netting down as far as the foul poles, and a few have taken action during the season. The Chicago White Sox, for instance, announced in June that netting would be extended to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field during this season, and began work on that project last week. The Washington Nationals, meanwhile, are slated to debut extended netting down the foul lines at Nationals Park next week.
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