KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - One of the thrills of sitting in the front row is catching a foul ball, but if you're not ready for a hard hit, it's a hazard.
Fans at Kauffman have adapted to the nets the team put up three years ago. Some say this is the next logical step.
“He's mostly interested in baseballs, he got one baseball,” Dean Canestra, baseball fan, said.
Dean Canestra and his son Drayton are visiting as many stadiums as they can on a cross country tour.
“I've never been this close to the field before,” Drayton said.
They're just outside the towering black nets at batting practice.
“I think they're good for safety,” Drayton said.
His dad's a little more old school.
“A lot of the kids hang out right here for the first baseman to flip them a baseball. You can't do that if there's a net here,” Dean said.
Even behind the nets.
“I feel good here, protected somewhat,” Brian Troutman, baseball fan, said.
A foul can surprise you.
“It comes at you so fast you can't see it,” Sandi Troutman, baseball fan, said.
Little league pitchers throw around 30 miles per hour, hard enough to crack a Styrofoam cooler. A high schooler could hurl it 70 miles per hour, which smashes the same cooler.
KCTV5 News cranked a pitching machine to the highest it could go, that is around 100 miles per hour. A foul ball leaving the park travels around 110.
“That's scary. You can't come to socialize. You have to be paying attention to the game,” Sandi said.
Sandi and her family are glad the Royals plan to extend the nets to some of the most vulnerable parts of the stadium.
“I think the foul pole may be too far. But I think at least halfway,” Sandi said.
And the barrier won't change what's happening on the field.
“Come on out and enjoy the game. It's fantastic, netting or not,” Dean said.