Jordan Skopp, founder of Foul Ball Safety Now, is at it again, setting his sights on the High-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. In April, Skopp released a study that identified 42 minor league teams who cut corners regarding their safety net installation. Among that group, the Chiefs were the worst offenders as they saw fit to have Dozer Park’s safety netting extend no farther than the beginning of each dugout, making their stadium one of the most precarious places to watch a game.
Knowing this, Skopp was compelled to warn Chiefs fans of the potential dangers they faced. So on June 8, with Peoria playing the Quad City River Bandits, he did just that by hiring a plane to circle over the ballpark for 30 minutes during pregame festivities with a warning message. As part of a larger campaign, Skopp also ran targeted Facebook ads to educate the public of the alarming negligence shown by the Cardinals organization.
“While the media is starting to get our message out to the public, fans aren’t being informed fast enough about the risks they undertake attending a game without adequate safety netting,” said Skopp. “That’s why I’ve contracted a local sky banner service to fly over the field before the game, so spectators clearly understand they have unwittingly put themselves and their families in danger of devastating injury.”
In March, Cubs Insider was fortunate enough to observe a press conference hosted by Skopp, which allowed victims of foul ball injuries to tell their stories and explain why they felt a responsibility to help prevent anyone else from having to endure the same misfortune. Despite Skopp’s tireless efforts, it doesn’t seem like Major League Baseball is listening.
Dozer Park is a prime example and the large number of fans in Peoria facing these easily preventable yet perilous conditions is simply unacceptable. The Chiefs and the Cardinals should immediately address the situation before it’s too late and someone gets seriously hurt.
“During the 2021 baseball season, not a week has gone by in which a fan hasn’t been hit by a foul ball,” reports Skopp. “The danger is real and the situation dire. I hope putting our message out there, in front of fans attending a game at a very dangerous park, will help generate even more grassroots pressure to get the Major and Minor baseball leagues to extend safety netting at all their parks and stadiums.”