Last summer, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis lined a foul ball into the stands and unfortunately struck and injured a young girl. After the game, Galvis pleaded for the Phillies to extend the protective netting further down the first and third base lines. The next day, another fan was struck in nearly the same area and Galvis — in the field this time — threw his hands up in frustration.
During the offseason, the Phillies did heed the advice of their shortstop, extending the netting to the far ends of both the home and visitors’ dugouts.
Two weeks into the regular season, Galvis is happy, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Galvis said, “A little bit over the dugout and I think more people are going to be safe. The last couple of days, I think I saw like one guy get hit on the other side [of the netting]. But this is a good start. Let’s see what it brings and go from there.”
Galvis added, “I don’t know if it was because I said something, but at the point right now I feel good, because people come here with their families and they’re protected right now, especially young kids. I think right now there’s more safety. You hit one into the net, OK, that’s over. We have the net right there and you can keep your focus on the game.”
Around this time last year, Craig noted that the players in particular seem to be very much in favor of extending the protective netting.
Zolecki reports that the Phillies invited season-ticket holders with seats behind the dugout to take a look at the field from behind the extended netting. Of the 175 people to show up, none cancelled their season tickets and only 10 asked to have their seats relocated.
Mike Stiles, Phillies executive VP and COO, said, “Since we started playing, we’ve had no complaints. The comments that we’re getting right now is, ‘It’s not interfering with our ability to watch the game,’ and ‘We appreciate being behind the netting.'”
Stiles continued, “Our players have been good about flipping balls lightly over the netting so they’re still getting some foul balls. It’s been a very positive experience. It was the right move, and I think we did it the right way giving people an opportunity to come look. If they wanted to move, they could.”