SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — You may have seen the video of Albert Almora jr. hitting a baseball into the stands your social media feed today. A scary and emotional moment at the Cubs and Astros game last night in Houston. (find the video on YouTube by clicking here.)
The ball that flew into the stands struck a young girl.
She is expected to be okay but this raised some questions for us in the newsroom, about ballpark safety.
Here in Springfield, Hammons Field is no stranger to foul balls landing in seats or bats getting thrown into the crowd.
But back in 2016, the Cardinals were one of the first Texas league teams to install a larger and safer net to protect fans.
General manager Dan Reiter says that while the net along with the well-trained staff is important, you should always stay aware of the game to ensure your safety. “Our nets, when we put them in, we raised them four feet taller. We extended them 80 feet past what the minimum requirement was. I think, first of all, know that we take it seriously enough to go above and beyond. Second, I have two young kids. I think when they’re here, I’m as worried about protecting them as I am my job even. I would just say awareness. You would never say that anything is someone’s fault. I’d never say that, but I would say the more aware you can be, the better for everyone.”
Reiter says fans have been supportive of the larger net and recommends all baseball parks make more of an effort for fan safety.