Fans Don’t Need More Netting, They Need To Make Better Decisions
Before addressing the horrible incident at Yankee Stadium, I have a personal story, one that did not end in tragedy.
With the Yankees playing the Rays at Citi Field, I took advantage of the cheap tickets, and on the spur of the moment, I went to the game with my son. The seats were excellent.
If it was just me at the game, it would not be an issue. However, it wasn’t just me. I was there with my son. He loves baseball games, but at three, he’s not fully capable of paying full attention to the game.
When I’m there with him, I’m not either. I spend most of my time fishing for juice boxes, snacks, or napkins. When I’m not going that, I’m leaning down to describe what’s happening in the game to him.
That leaves me susceptible to getting hit with a line drive. Even worse, my son could get hit. Knowing the power players like Lucas Duda possess, I had little choice but to move my seats.
With the upper tiers being closed off and ushers no longer allowing fans to freely move to different sections to open seats, my options were much more limited than what they would’ve been when I was three. Still, I didn’t give up, and I eventually found an usher willing to let us sit elsewhere with the caveat if the fans who had those seats appeared, I would move.
Was I as close to the action? Not even close, but my son was much safer. As a parent, that’s my number one responsibility.
This is not to say the parent of the toddler at the Yankee game yesterday was a bad parent, or that I’m a better parent. Rather, under similar circumstances, I was much more aware of the risk. It’s why my child would have been nowhere near a Todd Frazier foul ball.
Child gets hit by a foul ball at Yankees game. The players' reactions say it all. pic.twitter.com/YIyaBJq7tT
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) September 20, 2017
It’s a horrible situation that just leaves you sick for everyone involved – especially, the little girl and her parent. Thank God that little girl was alright.
Understandably, it has led to renewed calls for extended netting in baseball stadiums. This despite, in the entire history of baseball, just one fan being killed as a result of being struck by a foul ball.
There have been professional baseball games played since 1846 when the New York Nine beat the New York Knickerbockers at the Elysian Fields.
Simply put, while what happened was horrible, it was an anomaly. Watching a baseball game is not an inherently dangerous activity.
With the images of the young girl getting hit, many people don’t want to listen to reason. They want action. They want netting instead of choosing to be responsible with their seating choice. They want netting so they don’t have to pay full attention to the game. If they want rules to address the abdication of personal responsibility, let’s make the rules to address that situation.
Similar to an airplane, you’re restricted from using all electronic devices. If you’re in an area with no netting, you’re not permitted to use an electronic device during game action. If you’re caught using them, you’ll be ejected from the ballpark.
Also, all vendors, including the beer vendors, will only be allowed to walk the aisles between innings.
Like with roller coasters, if you’re not a certain height or age, you’re not permitted to sit in field level seats not protected by netting.
Really, since you’re there to watch a baseball game, these rules shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Overall, what happened yesterday was horrible, but it was avoidable. Some would say it would’ve been avoidable with the netting, and maybe they’re right. It’s also right to say no toddler should have been sitting in that area.
Personally, I agree this incident should be a call to action. Unlike most, I want that action to be the acceptance of personal responsibility and not more netting.