For years authorities have been trying to cope with the inevitable occurrence that scares many. It could happen at any time, and people must always be vigilant to protect themselves from it. And now those in charge are doing more to help its constituents. We're not talking terrorism here, but instead foul balls.
Yes, foul balls. It's estimated that between 30 to 60 foul balls leave the playing field each game, and teams are now gearing up to protect their fans better. The federal government has a color scheme to help citizens. Baseball has its own system. Ushers, two-way radios, closed-circuit cameras that track the flight of each ball, and medical staff all make sure the foul ball experience is as pain free as possible. But some teams will leave nothing to chance.
At RFK and at parks in Cleveland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and others, ushers are trained to rush to where every foul ball lands in the stands, then raise a card -- blue to indicate all clear, yellow if a fan needs help.If this is the system in place for foul balls, imagine what they've got in place for natural disasters and the like. I've never thought of the foul balls as an issue, and in fact I wish more came my way when I attend games. Knowing that they've got this system in place, I'm wondering when they'll institute a new one to track spilt beers and dropped hot dogs. Now that's a system I could value!
In Fry's "command center," staff monitoring closed-circuit cameras watch for the card. When it's yellow, the seat's location is quickly determined and a medical staffer is dispatched to help the ushers who are rendering immediate attention.