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UPDATE: Colvin struck by bat shard, done for year

Sep 19, 2010, 5:34 PM EST

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column in early May with a frightening but eye-opening lead sentence. "Someone's going to die at a baseball stadium soon," he surmised, because of the splintering of newly popularized maple bats. That didn't happen this afternoon at the Marlins' Sun Life...

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column in early May with a frightening but eye-opening lead sentence.  “Someone’s going to die at a baseball stadium soon,” he surmised, because of the splintering effect of newly popularized maple bats.

That didn’t happen this afternoon at the Marlins’ Sun Life Stadium.  But it could have.

Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was struck in the left side of his chest by a shard from a broken bat while running down the third-base line during Sunday’s game against the Marlins.  It cut through the skin, left a deep wound, and he had to be rushed to a local hospital for precautionary monitoring.  This all comes via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Colvin will be fine.  He had minimal external bleeding and will probably return to the field early this week.  But had that bat shard struck him just a few inches lower — near the heart — we might’ve had a real tragedy on our hands.

It’s time to do something about the composition of baseball’s wooden bats.  Whether that means outlawing maple or throwing money into research for the standardization of a type of lumber, action must be taken before a player, umpire or fan is killed at a baseball stadium.

Colvin, a rookie outfielder, has hit .254/.316/.500 with 20 home runs, 18 doubles, five triples and 56 RBI in 358 at-bats this season.  He is 25.

UPDATE: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann shares an incredible screen grab of the shard just inches from Colvin’s chest.

UPDATE II:
Wittenmyer says that Colvin will remain in a Miami hospital for the next 2-3 days as a precautionary measure.  The shard punctured his chest wall and air got in, but he is now in stable condition and expected to make a speedy recovery.

UPDATE III: The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that Colvin will not play again this season.

  1. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Boy, I sure do hope no one is waiting for that gibbering nincompoop of a commissioner to take “action” on this without a congressional subcommittee hearing pestering him into it.

  2. Ditto65 - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    That’s it – I’m calling my senator.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    I should add that between now and November 2, I seriously doubt if your senator – or anyone else’s – is going to so much as pick a tick off his dog’s nose for fear of offending some voter someplace. Of course, if Colvin suddenly goes into seizures and flatlines because of this, the Republicans will blame the Democrats and the Democrats will blame Bush. Don’t count on any show trials until congress, or what’s left of it, reconvenes – and given all the rookies that show up for that session, don’t count on anything but procedural chaos that resembles a Gowachin grand jury more than an Inquisition.

  4. andrewlw - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    It will be interesting to see if Castillo considers switching bats seeing as he almost killed someone.

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Wouldn’t it be just great if there were a product that could fix all of these problems? A product so ingenious that it would cost only a few dollars per bat, adhere to MLB’s rules for substances on a bat, be transparent, have no impact on the performance of the batted ball….
    Oh wait, there IS such a thing? Yep, there is, and it’s tied up in some office file drawer in MLB HQ and not coming out.
    http://itsaboutthemoney.net/archives/2010/09/19/colvin-hit-by-shattered-bat-pierces-chest-inches-from-heart/

  6. Buccofan - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    What are you calling him?

  7. Dan in Katonah - Sep 20, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    Jeff Passan was unfortunately correct. And by unfortunately, I mean that while this should be a wake-up call, I don’t know for sure that it is a serious enough injury to be the catalyst for batglove or a similar product to be mandated. Sad how we get Congress jumping in about who lied about taking PEDs a decade ago, but this flies under the radar. Nope, this will get some noise and then fizzle. Maybe if it punctured a lung, but 2-3 days in the hospital will not be the tipping point. And again, that is unfortunate.

  8. Jonny5 - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Dude, Jason. Fer realllll.
    This thing has been around for awhile, and I’ve seen a couple shards that could have taken down a buffalo if it hit the beast just right. I saw Ryan Howard almost get impaled, he bailed on a ball he was going to dive for, and it stuck in the ground like a spear in front of him. I’m not for banning Maple bats, and lord knows Ash shatters too, just much less frequently. So MLB ,make them use the gloves across the board. I’ve seen the shards go the way of the fans too. Will it take a kid with a bat part in their face before they do something?

  9. SouthofHeaven - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    I read that article in May, & didn’t give it much thought until a couple months ago, when a broken bat head nearly decapitated A-Rod at third base. Now I’m convinced, the maple bats have got to go.

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