Jumbo Shrimp to add protective netting for 2018 season – Florida Times-Union
Phillip Heilman @phillip_heilman
Signs around the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville warn fans to watch for objects — usually splintered bats or foul balls — that could leave the field of play.
In case those reminders aren’t enough, the Jumbo Shrimp are adding another safety measure.
Following the standard set by each of Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs, the Jumbo Shrimp plan to install additional protective netting that will reach to the far end of each dugout for the 2018 season.
The netting will stretch from Section 102 near third base to Section 113 near first base. Netting will remain in place over the top of Sections 105 to 110, which are directly behind home plate.
“Fan safety is our top priority,” Jumbo Shrimp general manager Harold Craw said. “The netting extension will make the Baseball Grounds safer, without taking away from the fun-filled environment.”
Fernandina Beach’s Burbank Sports Nets is scheduled to begin installing the netting in early March. The job is expected to be completed by the time Florida and Florida State meet in their annual college baseball game in Jacksonville on March 27. The Jumbo Shrimp home opener is April 11.
Additional netting at baseball parks has been widely discussed in recent years following several frightening incidents.
A young girl was hospitalized last September when she was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium in New York. In June 2015, a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit in the head by a broken bat at Boston’s Fenway Park.
MLB recommended lengthening safety netting to protect fans in field-level seats in December 2015, and all 30 teams will have netting that stretches at least to the far ends of each dugout for the upcoming season.
Phillip Heilman: (904) 359-4063