The Washington Nationals are installing more protective netting for fans at Nats Park.
Principal owner Mark Lerner said in a statement that the netting will extend to “just short of the right and left field corners.”
The netting will be a knotless type, which Lerner said will be easier to see through than traditional nets, and sections overlooking the dugouts can be raised before the game so fans can interact with players.
The work will be done over the All-Star break, he said. That’s July 8-11.
Lerner said the team was making the move after a rash of recent incidents in which fans have been hit by batted balls, particularly citing a game last month in which the Chicago Cubs’ Albert Amora struck a 4-year-old in Houston with a hard-hit foul ball. The girl was taken to a hospital; Amora needed more than a few moments to compose himself, and broke down after the half-inning was over.
“I can’t imagine what her parents must have felt in that moment,” Lerner said in the statement. “And to see the raw emotion and concern from Albert Almora Jr. was heartbreaking.”
The move comes one day after the Chicago White Sox said they would install netting from foul pole to foul pole by the time this season is over.
All 30 Major League teams extended their protective netting last year to the far ends of each dugout.
Lerner said fans with any concerns can call the team at 202.675.NATS (6287) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.