COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Clippers are taking steps to make game day safer for baseball fans.
Soon you’ll notice an extension of the netting from home plate all the way to the foul pole.
Columbus Clippers’ President and General Manager Ken Schnacke said he truly wants Huntington Park to be safe for the entire family
He said the netting will be up at the start of this season.
Baseballs coming off a bat can travel more than 100 miles per hour, and for most fans, dodging something that fast is nearly impossible.
“As you saw what happened in baseball, and some of the people that have been seriously hurt, and we had one that got drilled pretty good here last year, we made a conscientious effort to decide that we were going to take the next steps,” said Schnacke.
He said after nearly a year of research, they will extend the netting down to the foul poles.
The stadium won’t add several poles or beams to block any fans’ views, but Schnacke does want to block any flying ball from hitting someone.
“I think it’s something every stadium should have from probably AA and up,” said baseball fan Steve McCurdy.
McCurdy said he has been to several baseball games, adding that, as a parent, it was nerve-racking to keep his eyes on his kids and the ball while at the stadium.
“You can’t keep them paying attention, so if you’re not paying attention every minute, they’re real hard to protect,” he said.
It is why he has no problem with extended the netting at Huntington Park. He believes some people are overreacting to the news.
“Some of the best seats in the house are right behind home plate, and they’ve been guarded by nets for years,” said McCurdy.
He adds fans will enjoy more of the game now that they can relax and feel safer, a feeling Schnacke agrees with.
“I think more fans will now be more at ease sitting with their families in the grandstand,” said Schnacke.
Schnake added that the parts for new netting have already been ordered.