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13-year-old dies after getting hit by pitch

Jun 3, 2011, 10:02 PM EDT

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13-year-old Little Leaguer Hayden Walton, from Winslow, AZ, was killed Tuesday when a baseball hit him in the chest as he was attempting to bunt.

“He took an inside pitch right in the chest,” Winslow Little League official Jamey Jones said. “After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.”

He died Wednesday morning at a local hospital.  Paramedics said the cause was commotio cordis. His heart stopped after he was hit by the pitch.

“Words cannot adequately express our sorrow on the passing of Hayden,” Stephen Keener, CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball said Wednesday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hayden’s family, all the players and volunteers of the Winslow Little League, his classmates, and his friends, at this difficult time.”

  1. kopy - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Damn, I wish these things didn’t happen.

    • baseballisboring - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      yeah that about sums it up. ughhhhh

    • jaguars44 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      yeah i know it hurts if its your friend although i dont know him

  2. cur68 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Ah hell. The poor kid. His family must be beyond upset. Unimaginable how difficult this must be for all involved. It’s relatively difficult to know how often this happens each year to young athletes. Maybe a dozen to 2 dozen times. It’s just a freak thing. Blunt trauma to the chest and the heart just fibrillates.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:37 PM

      little league parks–another location that needs AEDs–ones with pediatric pads

      • cur68 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        Yeah. Can’t do much about v-fib without them.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    My son, age 11, wears a form fitting undershirt that has embedded gel pads around the heart area. Would it have saved this boy from this tragic situation? One never knows. I’m doing what I can.

    • Glenn - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:09 AM

      We can’t cloth are kids in armor all the time. Horrible accidents happen, we just hear about them nationally and instantaneously now. It is a terrible tragedy, but we do not nor cannot reasonably live in a risk-free world. Kids sitting around playing video games and not playing sports is doing more long-term health damage than any one sports tragedy.

      • cur68 - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:45 AM

        Glenn; given the rate of commotio cordis is around 2 dozen a year I think Jason’s actions to protect his child are as reasonable as a bike helmet or a seat belt. I’d include the link about the frequency of cc but HBT seems to drop my posts when I do. Use a GIS with ‘commotio cordis’ and ‘incidence’ as your search term. You’ll be shocked at how common it is. I’m glad he’s doing something.

        As a 12 year old I was on the ice at pick up hockey game when a friend took a skate across the neck. He bled everywhere and were it not for the actions of quick thinking on lookers he’d have died. Some have died. Now neck guards are SOP on all rinks. What’s interesting is that the rate of neck lacerations is low in comparison to commotio cordis. Its more common than we think. Jason is right on the money protecting his child. I’d do the same for my son.

    • jaydensmom02 - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      Jason, where can I get one of these? I have two boys that play and one was hit a week ago in the ribs by another player who throws 55-60 mile an hr balls. My son is only 8….he was hurt, but not real bad. Theres been a nagging voice in the back of my head ever since….he also hasnt hit a ball since (nerves). I didn’t want to sound like an over protective mother in front of all these boys and fathers of these boys (and strip him from that game like I thought I should have)…but now I see, I had every right to. I feel a lot of guilt after reading about Hayden. I don’t even want to imagine what his family is going through….I feel guilty enough. I’ve said many prayers and see you have an answer. So where do I get these from? I tried googling, but all I can find is a patent for one. demingrobin@yahoo.com Thanks so much.

      • cur68 - Jun 5, 2011 at 12:06 AM

        jaydensmo02; I used a google search with the following terms; “easton protective baseball shirt”
        I’ll post a follow on message with the link but sometimes links that I post don’t seem to show up on HBT. As such. if you don’t see the link in a following post, google it as I did.
        Good luck

        c-68

      • cur68 - Jun 5, 2011 at 12:08 AM

        aaaaand here’s (hopefully) the link;

        http://www.softball-bats.org/easton-torso-tection-protective-youth-shirt.html

        looks like a bit like Batman’s suit! Might get one for halloween….

    • gwojick - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      Jason, I wanted to thank you for your progressive approach and preventative measures. I am the sister of Ryan Wojick, a boy struck during a Little League game back in 1990 who died as a result of the pitch. It was a much different opinion 20 years ago to shield young children from the impact of a baseball and it pleases me that, through reading these posts, I can see people have embraced the available safety precautions.
      America loves the game and I am not against its existence but children are fragile and as my mother so eloquently said years ago, “we protect their heads with helmets and their groins with cups, why not their hearts.”

      • fieldofmoms2011 - Jun 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        Please email me at fieldofmoms@gmail.com—there is so much that I would like to say to you about how your brother has inspired me in my efforts towards Little League safety reforms-I would love to talk to you

      • stacker79 - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        Hey there, just was looking up old history, saw your post and wanted to reply. My names Mike Merrill, and I was on Ryan’s team the minor “A” Cardinals in 1990, I was one of the teams starting pitchers. I was the batter that was right before him at bat. I ended up grounding out, and was upset I didnt get on base. Then Ryan was up we all know what happened after that.
        Ryan was my catcher, remember he was quiet, and we would often talk about his favorate player Will Clark on the Giants. I was probably closer to him that anybody on the team. I atteneded his funeral, and was on the player who when to where he was to be laid to rest. I placed my catchers mit on his casket and talked with and hugged your mom. She told me in tears how happy she was about that because Ryan always wanted a catchers glove. I miss him to this day and I wassent the same for years. But all always remember what a good kid he was, and the times and talks we had.

      • stacker79 - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:29 PM

        and was the only player who went to where he was laided to rest****

    • andypfellowshipconway - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      My heart aches for this family. As a pastor, father and coach I can’t even begin to imagine. Props to you for the shirt. Another great tool to protect your child would what I’ll refer to as the “post-modern bunt.” I don’t know a single well-qualified coach that still teaches the old-school style of “square to bunt.” In the old style of bunting, coaches would have players square up in the box (i.e, toes parallel to the top of the batters box) to bunt. This style has 3 major flaws: 1) It exposes the batters face/chest/abdomen/groin. 2) It forces a level-bat-bunt (which has a 50/50 chance of being a pop-up or bounce right in front of the catcher and finally 3) It put the batter in the worst possible position from which to leave the batter’s box (the cross-over step & stepping on home plate – which results in an “out.” Coaching is key. I’m super thankful for well-intended Dad’s and as a coach want and need parental involvement, which is why I recommend all parents attend specialized instructions. Yes, you read that correctly, “the parents”. A good coach will spend the first few practice sessions teaching the parents foundational things (swings/bunts/throwing/fielding) so they can work with their kids at home. A LL schedule usually consists of 3 or 4 practices then 2 or 3 months of games. If a parent can become an assistant coach, the “real” coaches job just got a whole lot easier.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    That’s the thing about being a parent: you can’t protect them from everything. You can only try to do the right things. What a horrible thing to think about.

  5. fieldofmoms2011 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Since 1961, at least 62 players have died playing or practicing Little League baseball. Tragically, Hayden makes 63. There but for the grace of God go any of our boys.

    This information comes from sources such as the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) documents, newspaper accounts and Little League Headquarters’ own studies and reports and more. All sources for this information are cited and appear on my blog: http://youthsportssafetynow.blogspot.com.

    I would like to stress that the information presented here is not referring to all youth baseball in the generic term, ‘Little League’ – it specifically refers to the Little League organization with headquarters in Williamsport, PA.

    Little League International representatives have acknowledged the deaths of over 30 of these children at or around the time they happened to the media. However, through the years, most of these fatalities have disappeared from their records.

    Boys who have died during Little League play and practices baseball seem to have vanished from Little League’s corporate records.

    The deaths Little League representatives have acknowledged include:

    Barry Babcock, age 9, of Temple City, CA, killed by a pitched ball to his chest on May 17, 1961.

    Larry Richards, age 13, of Bloomfield, killed a week later by a pitched ball to the head.

    George McCormick, age 10, of Hinckley Park, IL, killed by a line drive to the head on May 29, 1961.

    Brumit Estes, age 12, of Cocoa, FL, killed by a pitched ball to the throat on June 15, 1961.

    George Munnoch, age 10, of Ottawa Canada, killed by a pitched ball to the head June 22,1961.

    1962:
    Little League Headquarters reported two deaths in 1962

    Bruce Sloat, age 12 of Jackson, MS, killed by a pitched ball to the head on July 11, 1963.

    John Lutz, Jr. age 11, from Providence, RI, killed June 9, 1964 by a thrown baseball to his stomach.

    Little League Headquarters reported two deaths from batted balls in 1971 and 1973

    Thomas Steck, Jr., an eight year old from Lemont, IL, killed May 23, 1977 by a pitched ball to the chest.

    Gerald Piotter, Jr., a nine year old from Macy, IN, killed June 10, 1980 by a pitched ball to his chest.

    Jeffrey Jameson, an 11 year old from West Milford, NJ, killed June 5, 1985 by a thrown ball to the head.

    Shaun Frederic, an 8 year old from Beacon, NY, killed April 22, 1987 by a thrown baseball to the head.

    1987-1996:
    Thirteen members of Little League Inc. teams were killed during this period per study with researchers incl.member of USA Baseball and Little League’s Risk Manager.

    The causes of death:

    Pitched balls – 3
    Sliding – 2
    Thrown balls – 2
    Batted balls – 1
    Collision – 1
    Falls – 1
    “Other” – 3

    No identities or a list of which years for what incidents appear in this study.

    1989-1999:

    Five players were killed during this period.

    Their causes of death were:

    Pitched balls 2
    Thrown balls 1
    Pitching machine 1
    Running bases 1

    Source: A Little League Inc. report submitted to USA Baseball’s Medical/Safety Committee
    and dated June 12, 2000. Contact person is listed as Stephen Keener, President/CEO
    of Little League Baseball.

    1990:
    William “Ryan” Wojick, a ten year old from Citrus Park, FL, killed March 18, 1990 by a pitched baseball to the chest.

    1993:

    Little League International spokesman Lance VanVan Auken said that the last Little Leaguer killed at a game was a 9-year-old in New York who was hit with a thrown ball in 1993. The player’s name was not provided.

    Devin N. Beck, an 11 year old from Ammon, ID, killed May 24, 2000 when he was hit in the neck by a pitch.

    Little League representatives and officials acknowledged these 31 deaths at the time that they occurred-why aren’t these included in the total number of fatalities they report?

    Why do some official Little League representatives seemingly contradict themselves in the figures they present?

    “(George) Glick said (William Ryan) Wojick was the only known Little League player to be killed by a game-related injury.”

    “(Daniel) Kirby said a death during a Little League game has happened only once in the organization’s history (prior to William Ryan Wojick’s death.)”

    In his testimony before a Congressional Committee in 2007, Little League President Stephen Keener stated that injury data has been kept on record at Little League International only since the early 1960’s – how could Kirby know about deaths since Little League’s inception in 1939 when President Keener said they didn’t keep records until the 1960’s?

    Three years earlier, on the occasion of Shaun Frederic’s death in 1987:

    “Kirby said that between 1963-1987, there were 42 fatalities on Little League fields throughout the world. The 42 fatalities included 13 head injuries, 7 lightning deaths and 22 from heart conditions. The fatalities included players, umpires and coaches…

    ‘Considering that 2.5 million children play in Little Leagues every year, Kirby said, the number of deaths is small.’

    The number of deaths is small?

    The Little League Communications Division has said:

    “Little League International understands that injuries are part of the game, but let it be
    known that the governing body for the largest youth sports organization in the world
    sees even one injury as too many to dismiss as acceptable.”

    If Little League considers one injury as “too many to dismiss”, then how can all these deaths seem to be?

    Please review the following quotes and note the discrepancies there are regarding numbers and dates of deaths within the Little League organization itself:

    “Little League has been insured for 30 of its 56 years, and in that time, there have been only three instances in which a batter died from the impact of a pitched ball,’ (Dennis) Sullivan (Little League spokesman) said. ‘Most injuries or deaths occur when a player is struck in the field.’ However, Sullivan said he had ‘no idea’ how many Little Leaguers have been fatally injured under those circumstances.”

    – Interview with Little League spokesman Dennis Sullivan

    “The last Little Leaguer killed at a game was a 9-year-old in New York who was hit with a thrown ball in 1993.”

    – Little League spokesman Lance Van Auken

    “In fact, not a single play-related death occurred in a Little League game or practice
    during the 1990’s.”

    – Little League Vice President of Communications Lance Van Auken

    “There has not been a single play-related death in a Little League practice or game since 1990.”

    – Little League International Communications Division

    “The organizations’ records show no one has died during official league play”

    – Little League spokesman Chris Downs

    After William Ryan Wojick’s death in 1990, Little League was given a copy of a federal study from 1986 which “documented nearly two dozen cases in which children died after being hit in the chest by baseballs”, according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times. Little League officials acknowledged that they had read the report soon after it was published. A month later, “(Little League) officials rechecked their records this week and now say Wojick was the third Little Leaguer in 30 years (1960-1990) who died after being hit in the chest with a ball.”

    Dr. Albert King, dean of bioengineering at Wayne State University in Detroit headed that study for U.S Product Safety Commission. King said:

    “Little League should acknowledge this situation (baseball impact to the chest) and do something to help prevent it because it is preventable,” he said. “It’s just a logical thing for them to seek ways to prevent it instead of burying their heads in the sand.”

    After the records were rechecked and additional deaths recorded, National Little League Spokesman Stephen Keener said:
    “These were isolated incidents-freak things. To take drastic measures seems inappropriate.”

    Five years earlier, when Little Leaguer Jeffrey Jameson died, Keener said:
    “It was rather a freak accident and no one can be blamed for it.”

    In 1961 when player George Munnoch died, Little League Public Relations Director Robert Stirrat said that it was a “freak accident.”

    Par Troy West Little League’s Manual had this to say about ‘freak accidents’:

    “Ignorance of the many dangers in baseball and the easy ways to prevent them

    For example, never encourage a youth player to “take one for the team.” About three or four youth players are killed every year when hit by normal pitches traveling 40 to 50 miles per hour. They suffer fatal ventricular fibrillation or, in other words, their heart muscle contracts improperly. This is a health problem caused by unique physiology of children’s bodies.

    Would you believe there are 35,000 youth baseball eye injuries a year? That’s about one for every eight teams per season. And almost every coach thinks the one that occurred on his team was a “freak accident.”

    Little League President and CEO Stephen Keener has said, “Little League will continue its strong commitment to player safety, and we feel our well-documented record of safety in youth baseball speaks for itself.”

    But as you saw above, Kirby and the Little League Communications Division each released a publication that states that there have not been any deaths in a Little League practice or game “since 1990.”

    Also, as you saw above, Mr. Keener discussed Ryan’s death shortly after it happened, but Little League records do not reflect his death.

    How is their record of safety well-documented when the deaths of so many players are forgotten?

    William Ryan Wojick of Tampa, Florida, was called “Ryan” by his family and friends. He played for the Cardinals, part of the Citrus Park Little League organization. On the day of that fateful game, he told his mom, “Today, I’m going to steal two bases.”

    In the fourth inning and it was his turn to bat. Ryan was struck in the chest by a pitch. His coach, Fred Bloomingdale, said, “Nobody dreamed that it would come to this.”He lost his breath, and everyone thought he had the wind knocked out of him,” he said. “He was gasping for air . . . and then he went down on the field.”

    Ryan was pronounced dead in a hospital emergency room approximately 45 minutes later.
    He died March 18, 1990. He was ten years old.

    His death is on file with the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    There have been at least seven other children who have died while playing or practicing Little League baseball since 1990 alone. Now.Hayden makes 8.

    Justin McQuillen is another. He played for the Tigers, a Honey Brook, PA Little League team. Justin was up at bat when he was struck in the chest by a baseball.

    “The hardball hit him in the chest — smack over the heart. He fell to the ground, first crying, then suddenly silent. Frantic coaches and parents rushed to give him CPR, but Justin never regained consciousness.”

    By the time he got to the hospital, he had suffered irreversible brain damage. He was on life support for eight days before he died on May 11, 1994. Justin was nine years old.

    Justin’s death is on file with the CPSC.

    The other players killed during this timeframe are:

    · Brian Korbon, age 9, died May 8, 1993
    · David L. Lendermon, Jr., age 8, died June 4, 1997
    · Jacob G. Watt, age 6, died June 4, 1998
    · Jason L. Mallone, age 11, died June 29, 2002

    (Note: Jason died while in the on-deck circle, seven years after the on-deck circle had been banned for safety reasons by Little League headquarters for those 12 and under, in 1995.

    · Robbie Levine, age 9, died September 27, 2005

    There are many other fatalities that Little League International has not acknowledged.

    How is their record of safety “well-documented” if they are they unaware of all of the children who died while playing baseball for their own organization?

    These players include:

    · Albert Amieble, age 9, killed June 8, 1962 by a thrown ball/collision

    · Russell Robison, age 12, killed May 17, 1963 by a batted ball to the head

    · Peter Tocholonis, age 11, killed July 18, 1963 by a batted ball to the head

    · John J. Metz, age 11, killed June 20, 1964 by a batted ball to the chest (related to heart
    condition)

    · Ted Gabriel, age 9, killed May 12, 1965 by baseball impact to his head

    · Daniel Odekirk, age 8, killed May 26, 1965 by a batted ball to the chest

    · James F. Heath, age 12, died June 4, 1966 died from a brain-related injury on the field (related
    to undiagnosed brain condition)

    · Terry Loeschen, age 7, killed July 13, 1966 by baseball impact to the chest

    · Tighe McLaughlin, age 9, killed August 15, 1967 by a pitched ball to the chest

    · Thomas F. Brunn, age 9, killed April 13, 1968 by a pitched ball to the neck

    · James E. Kimball, age 10, killed May 7, 1968 by a batted ball to the chest

    · James R. Bender, age 10, killed June 19, 1968 by a batted ball to the chest

    · Richard G. Wallace, age 9, died April 10, 1969 when he collapsed on the pitcher’s mound
    (autopsy was inconclusive)

    · Gregory J. Lennon, age 9, killed April 11, 1970 when he was hit by a thrown bat

    · Kurt Salha, age 9, killed May 18, 1970 by a pitched ball to the chest

    · Duane C. Benson, age 11, killed April 18, 1971 by a batted ball to the neck

    · John C. Adams, age 11, killed June 16, 1971 by a thrown ball to the chest ·

    I.D. not provided by Little League report-a player was killed in 1971 by batted ball injury

    · Ronald E. Laws, age 12, killed June 23, 1972 by a pitched ball to the chest

    · A player died in 1973 from a batted ball injury. Their identity was not provided in a Little
    League report.

    · Vincent V. Torres, age 13, killed May 1, 1975 due to a collision with a player

    Robert Roggatz, age 10, killed June 21, 1978 by a thrown ball to the chest

    · Identity not provided in CPSC report: 9 year old boy was killed April 18, 1981 by a pitched ball
    to the chest

    · Identity/age not provided in CPSC report: Little League player killed May 1, 1982 by a pitched
    ball to the chest

    Little League cannot learn from these deaths, honor these children or act to prevent similar future deaths if the way they monitor fatalities does not change.

    Little League needs to reform their methods of finding out about deaths, tracking them, noting any trends and acknowledging the players who died.

    What if it were your child?
    Would you want them to have died completely in vain?
    Will Hayden be forgotten too?

    Please visit my blog: http://youthsportssafetynow.blogspot.com for an opportunity to add your name and state to a petition addressed to Keener and help make a change!

    • jibiral - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:32 AM

      Not to discredit everything you said (what a giant wall of text, by the way), but I knew Devin Beck of Ammon, ID personally. He was not struck by a “pitched ball,” as you claim. He was playing catch or “warming up” before a game. The ball struck him in the neck, which triggered an aneurysm that the family was told would have eventually happened anyway. Even then, the incident occurred while two friends were merely playing catch. This did not happen during a game or official practice. What would your petition have Little League do in this instance? Ban 11 year-olds from doing something that we all presumably love to do?

      To be honest, I think dying at the age of 11 is almost always “in vain” no matter the affect said death has on youth baseball, but, to address what you’re implying, I don’t believe Devin died in vain. His family was in no way forgotten and, last I checked, Devin is still honored every year while the kids and parents are both instructed in regards to safety. I highly doubt that the Beck family cares whether or not some suit in Pennsylvania knows about their son. Their community does. Several lives have already been affected for the better. People die in unexpected ways. In Devin’s case, his death was in no part due to negligence. We grew closer as a community and made peace with it. The onus of player safety should fall on the parents, coaches and community. In that order. I don’t care to blame some suit I’ve never met for the death of a friend and classmate. I also don’t see anything that anyone could have reasonably done to prevent the death of Devin.

      The point I want to get across, as it appears most are, is that these kind of things are liable to happen no matter what one is doing. It seems silly to attempt to villainize an organization that exposes youth to baseball.

      Judging by your blog, I should have just ignored you like everyone else has. I guess a part of me misses Devin and I don’t want to see him misrepresented or see his name used in your propaganda when it really does not belong.

      • fieldofmoms2011 - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Well said, j, and thanks for the information on Devin. j, I’m not trying to vilify LLB. I have no gripe with them other than they need to take on some accountability and make reforms.

        When someone from their camp says no kids have died playing Little League, it wipes all these kids off the map. LLB can’t wish them away. They need to understand the reasons why each of these boys died so everything that can be done will be done to prevent fatailities in the future.

        Playing baseball should never be a reason to die.

      • aliepolomariah - Jun 5, 2011 at 12:59 AM

        fieldofmoms2011. i dont think LLB wants to wish the kids who died away. they are the ones who died doing something they absolutely loved. but we cant keep dragging on with them either. sure every kid who died had a family…but also every kid who died by a pitch, or a line drive, or even playing catch….there was always someone else on the other end of that ball. think of how the kid who pitched the ball that hit Hayden feels. everytime he hears his name he probably thinks that he is the one who killed him, he probably cries because of it, and it wasnt on purpose.
        my brother (who was 12 at the time) was playin in a travel ball game on the 4th of july 2009. he was playing his bestfriends team (whose birthday was also that day). my brother was up to bat and his bestfriend pitching. first pitch was 87 MPH….hit my brother square in the temple. the whole field was dead sclient except for my brothers bestfriend in absoulte tears laying on the ground next to my brother in the batters box. luckly my brother is fine and only had a concussion, but his friend wont pitch anymore. things like this, sure they affect the family, but they also affect the other kids. so if we keep bringing it up we keep reminding the other kids of the horrible day when they thought they were just pithching another baseball game, or hitting a ball, or even playing catch, then it turned into the day they killed someone on accident

  6. razorzmd - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    …it’s highly likely that all they needed was an automatic defibrillator to have saved the child’s life…such a device should be mandatory emergency equipment in any contact sport…

    • Glenn - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      In reality, I bet everyone would have stood around and looked concerned until it was too late. No one is thinking that a child is going to die at a Little League game. I’d like to think that if I was there, I would be a hero, but I probably wouldn’t. I would guess that the average child is in more danger walking through a parking lot.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        Properly run public access defibrillator programs include training key people (in this case I’d suggest coaches, umps, groundskeepers) in AED use. AED use is already part of the Red Cross’s CPR curriculum. It’s actually quite easy for a fully automated machine (confirm there’s no pulse, attach the pads, turn on the machine, make sure nobody touches or moves the person, push the button when the machine tells you to), to the point that with training people react according to the training rather than staring in shock.

    • TestSubjekt - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:05 AM

      sure, except baseball isn’t considered a contact sport.

      • sawxalicious - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        Buster Posey would disagree with you…as would Mike Cameron, Marcus Giles, anf Cliff Floyd.

  7. jaydensmom02 - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I just think more protective gear around the chest for all players under 18 should be mandatory. My son was hit last week and many stood around and stared, hoping for the best while he crumbled. My husband and I ran to grab him while I crumbled at home plate due to a 55 mile an hr ball to his ribs…he’s 8! So….just regulating safety would be a justice to the sport and to all communities that support these kids and this sport. I’ve read all these posts and I honestly believe we all just wants whats best for our kids. SO instead of attacking for safety reasons….come together to FIGURE IT OUT so our own kids dont become another statistic!

  8. mdak06 - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Ideally, there would be one AED at every ballfield with a game, and all umpires, managers, coaches, and any field staff would be trained in CPR / AED use. It’s also not just the kids that might get hurt – there’s always the possibility of a parent, grandparent, or another fan at the game who might need help.

    Get them tested at the start of every season, make sure the pads are not expired, and keep folks up-to-date on training. Maybe there are grants (or generous individuals) available to help with the costs.

    Personally, I think everyone should learn how to do CPR and operate an AED. Not everyone is able to handle a situation like that, but training can help a lot.

    My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the kid.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      Agree completely. The machines can in fact be had for under $1K. Most youth leagues could spread the cost across the registration fees and nobody would blink.

  9. aliepolomariah - Jun 5, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    okay i have a younger brother who played Little Leauge all his life. my family had multiple freak accidents like what those other kids had. we have had fast balls (80 MPH) to the head, and balls to the rib cage, he spent 4 weeks in the hospital at the age of 6 for being hit in the head by a flying bat. but sadly what some of you dont realize is that its the game. baseball, and heck, any sport there are going to be situations where people could get killed. one of the worst things we could do is make a huge deal out of it. the bigger deal you make it, the more scared kids are going to be. and sure Umps and coaches should be CPR certified, but most of them are freak accidnets and i know i wouldnt be able to react quick enough if i just saw a kid get hit by a pitch to the chest. you cant put more and more padding on these kids then give them a shove and tell them to have fun. the whole fun of sports is going out there getting dirty, laughing with friends, getting hurt. thats the game, thats why kids play.

    • mdak06 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      @aliepolomariah … I don’t think any of us are saying that all accidents can be prevented or anything of the sort. However, sudden cardiac arrest from an impact to the chest is something where an AED and someone trained in CPR can easily mean the difference between that person’s life or death. The sooner someone in v-fib gets a shock, the higher their chances are of survival.

      There’s also the possibility that a parent or grandparent might need an AED, and ballfields aren’t always close to buildings or any place where medical help is close by. AED’s are being placed in many public places, and that’s a good thing.

      I’d support -everyone- 16 and up knowing how to do CPR and handle an AED, not just those involved with baseball. The more people that know CPR, the less of a “big deal” it is having CPR-certified folks around – but the more likely people are to survive cardiac arrest.

  10. raysfan1 - Jun 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    …and people who have been trained generally do not freeze up when the situation where that training is needed arises, they react according to that training. If you look through this posting, you will see atr least 3 including myself who are medical professionals; at any given game day that at least one would likely be there too.

  11. Tim's Neighbor - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    I’ve run adult rec leagues and always required First AID training of my employees. I now run a youth league and an AED will be purchased this year because of this.

  12. ifindbooks - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Don’t forget to focus on the story at hand…these parents and this league has suffered a great loss. We have regulations to protect from or prevent injuries to our children, and participants in general to all kinds of sports. Look at the beginnings of the football helmet alone and follow it’s evolution! The fact is there is are terrible tragedies related to sports across the board which is why we evolve with the sport to make it safer. No one finds it ironic that we put a man with a bat and a helmet out there on the plate but not an arms length behind him is a TON of protective padding and caging covering the catcher AND ump! Maybe someone could benefit from the regulating of pediatric v-fibs mandatory at these games or even protective batting gear – not armor. My condolences.

  13. Rusty Coan - Jun 9, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    According to Wikipedia the chest protectors will not do anything to prevent this. If anything I feel that they will lull people into a false sense of security. This event is not something that a pad or protector can prevent…. at least not one that’s currently available on the market.

    From Wikipedia:
    Chest protectors and vests are designed to reduce trauma from blunt bodily injury, but this does not offer protection from commotio cordis and may offer a false sense of security. Almost 20% of the victims in competitive football, baseball, lacrosse and hockey were wearing protectors. This ineffectiveness has been confirmed by animal studies. Development of adequate chest protectors may prove difficult.

  14. Rusty Coan - Jun 9, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Meant to post the link to the wiki page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commotio_cordis

  15. jaguars44 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    it would be hurt if you were the pitcher who hit him i would think that if i was pitching i would think it was my fault

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