The Philadelphia Phillies will extend protective netting at Citizens Bank Park before the 2020 season, becoming the latest MLB team to begin planning such a project.
Conversation about extended netting at ballparks has become more prominent in recent months, particularly following a May incident in which a young girl was injured by a foul ball during a game at Minute Maid Park between the Houston Astros and visiting Chicago Cubs. That has been followed by announcements from several Major League Baseball teams with plans to extend protective netting at their facilities, including a few that completed changes during the 2019 season and some planning to make adjustments before the 2020 campaign.
The Phillies now join the list of teams planning to extend netting prior to the 2020 season. NBC News reported that the Phillies plan to extended netting as part of an investigation into foul-ball injuries, and the organization has since given confirmation to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Although the Phillies confirmed that netting would be extended beyond its current configuration before next season, a spokesperson did not state exactly how far it will run. More from The Philadelphia Inquirer:
While the NBC News report quoted the Phillies as saying the new netting would extend to the foul poles, the team didn’t fully commit to that Tuesday.
“We are extending our protective netting beyond the current configuration,” a team spokesperson said. “The logistics of that extension will dictate how far the new netting will go.”…
Citizens Bank Park previously had the safety netting behind home plate extended down to the edges of each dugout, which was prompted by the 2016 hospitalization of a young girl who was stuck in the face by a foul ball while sitting behind the visiting dugout on the third-base line.
Since the injury at Minute Maid Park in May, there has been a wave of activity around MLB regarding extended netting. Among the teams that completed an extension of some sort during the regular season included the Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Baltimore Orioles, while the Atlanta Braves will debut extended SunTrust Park netting during the postseason. In addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays have publicly stated plans to extend netting in the near future.
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