Indians' Francisco Lindor calls on MLB teams to extend protective netting after his foul ball hospitalizes young fan

During Francisco Lindor's sixth inning at-bat in the Indians-Royals game on Sunday, Lindor hit a foul ball that struck a young boy in the stands at Progressive Field. Lindor fouled off a 96 mph fastball from Royals' Glenn Sparkman, and it hit the fan who was seated just beyond the Royals dugout (and beyond protective netting) on the first-base line.

The 3-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital after the game where he was alert and able to talk and answer questions, Lindor told Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes. 

Sunday was the latest instance this season in MLB where a fan has been injured or hit by a foul ball. A young fan was hit by a foul ball during the Cubs-Astros game at Minute Maid Park on May 29. It was later revealed that she suffered a skull fracture and had a seizure because of the incident. The topic of implementing full, protective netting all the way to the foul poles at ballparks picked up steam in recent weeks.

After Sunday's game, Lindor voiced his concerns of the lack of protective netting at MLB ballparks, and called on the league to extend the netting to the foul poles. Here's what he told Hoynes:

"I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down (to the foul pole). I know it's all about the fans' experience to interact with the players. I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the players, getting autographs and stuff. But at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of the game healthy. We've got to do something about it.

"Everybody feels bad. If we can put the nets a little farther down, it would be a a lot better."

All 30 MLB teams extended netting to the end of each dugout before the 2018 season, but the decision to extend the netting beyond was left up to each individual team. This season, the White Sox, Pirates and Nationals have all announced their plans to extend the protective netting at their respective ballparks. The White Sox will be the first MLB team to have netting all the way to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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