Galvis wants more protective netting for fans

Shortstop still shaken after foul ball hit little girl in face

Galvis wants more protective netting for fans

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis remains upset and shaken that a foul ball he hit into the stands struck a young fan in the face on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

The girl had to be transferred to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for further evaluation. No update was available on her status as of late Sunday afternoon.

"They told me she was OK," Galvis said.

Galvis is a passionate advocate for installing more protective netting down the left- and right-field lines. The Phillies extended netting behind home plate about 10 feet on both sides in the offseason, but it stops once it reaches both dugouts. The Phillies said they received conflicting opinions from fans about sitting behind netting, many of whom feel it obstructs their view or takes away some of the enjoyment of being close to the action.

"The Phillies expanded our netting this season to the sides of the dugout near home plate, as was suggested by Major League Baseball," Phillies executive vice president and chief operating officer Mike Stiles said in a statement. "We decided earlier this season to consider the possibility of further expansion next season. In making that determination at the conclusion of the 2016 season, we will take into account a number of factors -- including the opinion of our uniformed personnel and, most importantly, the wishes and safety of our fans."

But Galvis cannot shake the image of the girl getting hit in the face with the ball. He was late on a 98-mph fastball from Sam Tuivailala in the eighth inning and watched the ball fly into the stands.

"What if I broke all her teeth? What if I broke her nose?" Galvis said. "If I hit her in one eye and she loses that, what are they going to do? It's going to be a big deal for two, three days. Everybody in TV, media, whatever. But after three days, what's going to happen? They're going to forget. But that family won't forget that."

Galvis said he understands that families want to sit as close to the field as possible, so children can see their heroes. He just says further protection makes sense in light of what happened.

As for those who have mixed feelings about the extra netting taking away from the fan experience, Galvis offered a compromise.

"Why not put up a net that can go up and down, if you want fans to get the balls and stuff between innings?" he said. "Two days ago, I saw one fan with his baby, maybe like 1 year old, 2 years old. They were in the third row. If you're a father and you know we don't have a net right now, you should sit behind a net or sit really far away, you know what I mean? I think they should worry about that."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.