CHICAGO (CBS) — White Sox fans are getting extra protection at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Workers were seen Wednesday putting up new netting at the field, making the team the first in baseball to extend the netting all the way to the foul poles.
Some think it will interfere with watching the game, but for those who have been on the receiving end of a foul ball to the face, the move is welcomed.
“First pitch, top of the 9th, he smokes a line drive. It goes 107 mph right to my nose,” said Eddie Rybarski, who was injured at a White Sox game last September.
The foul ball broke his nose as he sat in the front row of the game just beyond the base line protective netting.
“I thought there was a real chance I could be having brain surgery that night,” he said.
The team announced plans for the net extensions last month, eight days after another fan was hit in the head by a foul ball at the stadium.
Just weeks before that, the Cubs’ Albert Almora was distraught after a 2-year-old girl was on the receiving end of a rocket from his bat. She suffered a skull fracture.
“It seems like such a simple thing to do to protect fans,” said Rybarski, who disagrees with fans saying the netting will interfere. “Sit in the outfield. There’s more home runs hit now than ever before. Go get your balls out in the outfield. You will be a lot safer.”
Major League Baseball has left netting decisions up to the individual teams despite fans getting hit. Other teams have also announced plans to extend the protective netting.
The White Sox first home game with the new netting will be later this month.