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New netting at Fenway Park extends dugout to dugout

A Fenway Park fan was helped from the stands after being hit with a broken bat in June, 2015.
A Fenway Park fan was helped from the stands after being hit with a broken bat in June, 2015. Charles Krupa/Associated Press/Associated Press

The Red Sox are close to completing the installation of new protective netting at Fenway Park.

Team president Sam Kennedy said the new nets are 9 feet 8 inches high, the same height as the current backstop, and extend to the inside edge of both dugouts. They are attached to cables and stand straight up.

The nets run from Dugout Box 29 on the first base side to Dugout Box 61 next to the visitors’ dugout. They are made of material that best provides a view of the game while at the same time ensuring safety.

In December, Major League Baseball recommended that all teams install nets in front of any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate.

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The Reds and Astros were already in compliance with the recommendations. The Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, Twins, Phillies, Royals, and Tigers are among the teams that have installed new nets in recent weeks.

Two incidents at Fenway Park in 2015 were among the reasons commissioner Rob Manfred ordered a study on whether fans were adequately protected from foul balls and shattered bats.

On June 5, a woman sitting near the edge of the backstop screen was struck by a piece of broken bat and suffered what were described as life-threatening injuries.

Tonya Carpenter, 44, of Paxton was struck in the head by a piece of broken bat after Brett Lawrie of the Oakland Athletics fouled off a pitch.

Carpenter required brain surgery and was hospitalized for eight days.

On July 10, a woman sitting in the same area was hit in the forehead by a foul ball. Stephanie Wapenski of Branford, Conn., required more than 40 stitches.


Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.