Organizations around baseball over the last few months have made a conscious effort to make safety the No. 1 priority around their respective confines, and the Cleveland Indians are no different.
The franchise announced Wednesday that they will implement more safety netting at Progressive Field for the 2018 season, extending it to the far ends of each dugout.
“We remain committed to delivering the best experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Jim Folk, Indians VP of Ballpark Operations, said in the release. “Safety is our No. 1 priority and these measures should balance that commitment to safety with the interactive nature of our game, something we know is also important to our fans.”
The Indians are already communicating with season-ticket holders whose seats may be affected by the netting that the process is underway.
The Indians are just the latest franchise to implement an expanded netting in some capacity or another. The call to action stems from a September game in The Bronx, when New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier ripped a line-drive foul ball down the third-base line which wound up striking a young fan.
Since then, MLB teams around the league have either released statements confirming plans for the 2018 season, or plans for the future. The Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners were the first three teams to release statements with plans for new netting, while the Milwaukee Brewers were one of the latest teams to notify their fans that expanded netting would be in place for the 2018 season.