LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Dodgers will be extending the protective netting along the right and left foul lines at Dodger Stadium, officials confirmed Monday.
The announcement comes a day after 13-year-old Kaitlyn Salazar was struck in the head by a foul ball batted by Dodgers star Cody Bellinger during the first inning of Sunday’s game.
Salazar was sitting four rows back from the field and just beyond the edge of the protective netting that extends to the end of the visiting dugout when she was struck by a line-drive off Bellinger’s bat.
Bellinger checked on her between innings as she sat at her seat with an ice pack on her head.
She was later taken to the hospital for precautionary tests and her mother told CBSLA that doctors confirmed she suffered a concussion.
The family says they have received criticism from people speculating that Salazar was on her phone or distracted when the ball hit her.
According to her family, she was getting up to go to the restroom when she was struck.
“I took a few steps and that’s when it happened and I fell on top of my dad,” Salazar told CBSLA reporter Nicole Comstock.
Salazar described the moment she was hit: “You know in movies when a bomb goes off and you hear ringing and the room gets black and everything sounds muffled? Yeah, that.”
Salazar’s mother, Roxie Salazar, said, “We were in the zone where fly balls happen so yes, you have to be cognizant but at the same time, you’re there to have fun so it’s a catch-22.”
The family said they want management to take a good look at their safety measures.
Just last year, a 79-year-old woman died four days after being struck in the head by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium.
The netting at Dodger Stadium extends to reach the edge of each dugout, but after Sunday’s accident, stadium officials say plans to extend the netting even further are in the works.
The Dodgers say there will be more information on when the extension will be done and exactly where the new netting will be extended to.
The Dodgers issued the following statement Monday regarding the extension of netting at Dodger Stadium: “Fan safety is of the utmost importance to the Dodgers and during the offseason, we began the process of studying how the netting at Dodger Stadium could be configured to provide better protection for our fans. Once this study is completed, the team will implement the recommended changes and extend the netting at Dodger Stadium. The team will provide more information on the project timeline and scope when available.”