Phillies plan to extend netting in 2020

The Phillies reportedly plan to extend the netting at Citizens Bank Park. (Tim Kelly/PhilliesNation)

According to NBC 10, the Philadelphia Phillies plan to extend netting to the foul poles at Citizens Bank Park in 2020.

This comes after multiple incidents in recent years has increased public awareness on the issue. A study done by NBC News says that 808 fans have been hit by a foul ball since 2012. One factor is a rise in foul balls since 2000, and more recent severe cases have caused teams to take action.

On May 29, a two-year old girl was struck in the head with a foul ball hit by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. in a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Made Park. The girl suffered a skull fracture and subsequent seizures, but is recovering now. The NBC News study also highlights a 79-year-old woman who was killed by a foul ball in Los Angeles last year.

There are multiple foul ball injuries that have occurred at Citizens Bank Park that would have been prevented by extended netting, including a Mets fan highlighted in the NBC News study who needed surgery after a foul ball cracked his skull.  In August, the family of a 17-year-old who was struck in the head 11 years ago at Citizens Bank Park said that they were concerned with the lack of action by MLB teams to extend netting.

In 2017, the Phillies had netting that extended to the end of each team’s dugout. The new netting extends eight sections each way and will cover sections 107-140, according to NBC10.

In July, both the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals extended their netting to the foul poles during the season. Four teams followed suit in season, and seven others have announced plans to do so in 2020.


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