CHICAGO (CBS) — A man who lost the sight in his right eye after he was hit by a foul ball at Wrigley Field in 2017 is applauding the White Sox for moving to install protective netting all the way down the foul lines at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox announced Tuesday that they would install protective netting all the way from foul pole to foul pole by the end of the season, becoming the first major league team to install netting that far down the lines.
Jay Loos, who lost sight in one eye due to a foul ball at a Cubs game in August 2017, said it’s a class move by the White Sox.
“I’m an advocate of fan safety based on my experience. I was really pleased; very, very pleased. To come out like that, just class organization comes to mind when I think about that; to want to protect the fans, to do what’s right to protect the fans,” he said.
Loos said it’s hard to forget the moment a foul ball changed his life forever two years ago.
He and his three kids were sitting along the first base line at Wrigley Field when a Pittsburgh Pirates batter slammed a foul ball into section 135, Seat 107 – and into Loos’s face.
The pain was excruciating. In addition to a broken nose and jaw, he lost sight in his right eye. Loos has sued the Cubs and Major League Baseball over his injuries.
In recent weeks, both Cubs and White Sox players have been involved in incidents in which fans were hit by foul balls.
On May 29, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a hard line-drive foul into the stands at Minute Maid Park in Houston, striking a 4-year-old girl in the stands. Almora was able to finish his at-bat but broke down and collapsed to his knees in anguish after the half-inning ended.
The girl appeared to be conscious but crying as she was carried away.
Less than two weeks later, on June 10, a woman was struck by a foul ball hit by White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The woman, who was sitting several rows from the field, was bleeding from her head but was alert when she was taken to the hospital. She was released from the hospital the next morning.
Major League Baseball currently requires safety netting at all ballparks to extend to the end of the dugouts on both sides of the field, but the league has said it is now reviewing that policy.
The Texas Rangers have announced plans to extend the protective netting at Globe Life Park further down the outfield, although not from foul pole to foul pole like the White Sox.