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More Calls For Extra Netting At Ballparks After Fan Hit By Foul Ball At Wrigley

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A woman who took a line drive foul ball to the head on Sunday at Wrigley Field was the latest victim in a string of fan injuries that has people calling for changes at the old ballpark.

The woman was conscious when she was taken out of the stadium on a stretcher and transported to the hospital.

After the latest injury, lots of people – even some players – were calling for changes at Wrigley Field and other ballparks.

Bill Morrison had a warning for his wife, Melissa, on Monday, right after they sat down along the first-base line at Wrigley.

"I told her to be on the lookout for foul balls, because we're on the right side of the netting today," he said.

Their seats were beyond the protective netting and right near the spot another fan was struck by a foul ball Sunday.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, "It's awful," but he also urged fans to pay close attention to the game to avoid injury.

"I hate to say it -- those are wonderful seats, you probably pay a lot of money for them, you're digging the fact that you're right there," Maddon said. "I watch, and you see people turning their back to field when the action is going; you just can't do it, you can't do it."

Still, even attentive fans lack the reflexes to field a foul ball flying at 100 mph, according to Bob Gorman, author of "Death at the Ballpark," which described serious injuries suffered by fans at baseball parks across the country.

"Something needs to be done. It needs to be done right away, before there's a fatality," Gorman said. "Some of the seats in some of the ballparks are actually closer to home plate than the pitcher's mound is; and on the pitcher's mound, you have a professional ballplayer who has a glove in his hand. So at least he can do something when that ball comes back to him, but a fan sitting that close, even if they're paying attention, really they don't have sufficient time to react."

In April, another fan at Wrigley Field was taken to the hospital after a bat flew out of the hands of rookie Addison Russell and hit the fan in the face.

A Bloomberg News study found more than 1,700 people a year are injured at major league parks, so there's increasing demand to extend the protective netting down the first and third base lines.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was the latest star to join a growing chorus of players urging the league to require more netting to protect fans.

Tigers' center fielder Anthony Gose, who hit a foul ball that hit a woman at Comerica Park on Friday, also said the league needs to do more to protect fans from injury from balls or bats that might fly into the stands.

On Monday, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts indicated Major League Baseball is taking such calls seriously.

"Obviously, fan safety is the number one concern, so we have to make sure that we're doing what we can on that front," Ricketts said.

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