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All MLB parks will extend protective netting by Opening Day

Every major league ballpark will now have protected netting that extends to the far end of the dugouts. | Getty Images

It’s been a long time coming, but MLB announced that every park will extend protective netting to protect fans from foul balls.

By Opening Day all parks will have netting extended to at least the far ends of the dugout, commissioner Rob Manfred stated.

“Providing baseball fans with a variety of seating options when they come to the ballpark, including seats behind protective netting, is important,” Manfred said via a statement. “Major League Clubs are constantly evaluating the coverage and design of their ballpark netting and I am pleased that they are providing fans an increased inventory of protected seats.”

MLB made the extended-netting recommendation in 2015, but not all teams did it.

The Cubs announced last September that they would extend the netting for the 2018 season, and the White Sox made a similar announcement last week at SoxFest.

Several incidents in recent years along with the prevalence of cellphone use at games helped lead to the change.

Last season a fan sued MLB after being blinded by a foul ball at Wrigley Field.

At Yankee Stadium, players were visibly shaken when a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a toddler and shattered bones in her face.

Reaction on social media was mixed: