Another tragic incident occurred in the San Francisco area about a week ago when a young HS pitcher was drilled in the head by a line drive off an opponent’s aluminum bat. The youngster suffered severe brain swelling, and was placed in a medically-controlled coma over a week ago. As of this posting, he was still in intensive care.
How many more of these cases do we have to deal with? Anybody who has ever spent any time around a baseball diamond will tell you that there’s a huge difference between a ball struck by an aluminum bat versus a ball off a wooden one. And yet, a number of major organizations, including Little League Baseball, claim that there’s no difference at all – that wood and aluminum are the same. What a disgrace.
Meanwhile, the lawsuits continue to pile up. The family of Brandon Patch, who died after being hit in the head by a line drive off a metal bat, won close to a million dollars when they took Louisville Slugger to court. Other legal cases from Oklahoma, New York State, and other places are beginning to crop up as well, with injured kids winning dollars from aluminum bat manufacturers.
As attorney Steve Kallas pointed out on my show, this situation is becoming analogous to the tobacco cases over the last two decades where cigarette companies denied that smoking was bad for one’s health, or that nicotine was addictive. We’re seeing the same kind of pattern with aluminum bats.
Parents and coaches – be forewarned. Baseball – -and softball — are better and safer games when played with wood bats.