The Phillies plan to install safety netting along the entire length of foul territory at Citizens Bank Park by next season.
The team on Tuesday confirmed the decision following the airing of an NBC News investigation into a surge in foul ball injuries at Major League Baseball parks across the United States and Canada.
Citizens Bank Park currently has safety netting behind home plate and down through the end of either dugout — covering sections 115-132. It stands as high as 10 feet behind home plate and 8 feet in other sections.
The dugout nets were installed during the 2017 season.
The new netting will be in place for the 2020 season, a team rep told NBC10 Tuesday morning, and will extend from section 107 thorough section 140.
Phillies now tell me to clarify: they will be extending the netting next season, and are currently looking at the logistics of extending it to the foul poles https://t.co/xckoj9cFdy— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 1, 2019
The NBC News investigation highlighted injuries Phillies fan Dwayne Sowa sustained in a 2014 foul ball incident. Sowa was sitting in section 134 when a foul ball launched off Jimmy Rollins' bat cracked open his skull.
"My wife heard it," he told the network. "It was the worst noise she's ever heard — the crack of my skull."
Sowa had surgery to address a crushed bone above his right eye. He still suffers lingering effects.
Thirteen teams have announced plans to extend netting including the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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