Freddy Galvis upset at ballpark safety: ‘Put up a net and protect all the fans’
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis could only watch as a foul ball off the end of his bat struck a little girl in the face during Saturday’s 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. After the game, Galvis, himself the father of a young girl, used the incident as an opportunity to call for reform to ballpark safety measures.
“What year is this? 2016? It’s 2016 and fans keep getting hit by foul balls when you’re supposed to have a net to protect the fans,” Galvis said, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right? We’re worried about speeding up the game. Why don’t you put up a net and protect all the fans?”
The Phillies said that the girl, who was sitting behind the visitor’s dugout on the third-base line, was taken to a children’s hospital for further evaluations, giving no other update on her condition.
“What if I broke all her teeth. What if I broke her nose. If I hit her in one eye and she loses that. What are they going to do? They’re going to forget in three days,” Galvis continued. “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. Do you think the little baby will forget that? It’s true life. It’s something you have to put before everything. Safety first. Safety.”
Breen notes that the league recommended before the season that teams extend their protective netting to anywhere within 70 feet of home plate. For their part, the Phillies added about 10 feet to the netting they already had in place behind home plate.
While it’s impossible to plan for every freak occurrence, Galvis is absolutely right in stressing that safety always comes first, so hopefully further preventative measures are enacted in ballparks to best ensure the collective well-being of their fans.
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