CHICAGO (WLS) -- The White Sox debuted their extended safety netting at Guaranteed Rate Field Monday night. The netting now stretches from the ends of the dugouts all the way to the foul poles.
The nets range from 30 to 45 feet high, and are designed to prevent screaming line drives and foul balls from injuring fans.
"It's sure to keep high velocity balls from going into the stands," said Rick Renteria, Sox manager.
The decision to extend the netting was in response to a number of injuries in recent years. Most recently, a hard line drive off the bat of Francisco Linder Sunday in Cleveland hit a young fan. Linder was visibly upset after the incident.
Earlier this season, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr., hit a foul ball that struck a young girl in the head, causing serious injuries and an emotional reaction from Almora. Many players said they support the netting.
Fans used to having interaction with players and catching foul balls in the stands have mixed feelings about it. Most said they'd miss the opportunity to catch a foul ball, but do understand the positive impact of improved safety.
The Sox said the move has been in the works for months, and they are confident it will make the park safer without hurting the fan experience.
White Sox debut extended safety netting at Guaranteed Rate Field