Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's Time For Some Safety Upgrades in Youth Baseball

We had an interesting situation over the weekend in our Little League Fall Ball game, where one of our base runners  kept losing his helmet. Whether the helmet was too big or the player's head was too small, it fell off his head while he was running to 2nd base, and then again while rounding 3rd. The umpire called time said he would eject the player, or any other player on the team, if it happened again. I was shocked that he would threaten such a severe action for something that was clearly unintentional. But it was a safety concern - and a legitimate one. Bad things can happen.
The video below shows how my son's final game on my team ended for him. In the 1st inning, he somehow hit a triple. A minute later while standing on 3rd base, he was struck in the head by a hard line drive. He was 60 feet away and the ball shot off the bat of one of our best hitters like a rocket. As you can see and hear in the video, it was almost instant. My son had just enough time to turn his face away from the ball and he was struck just in front of the left ear hole of his helmet. The impact slammed the inside of the helmet into the side of his head and cheek bone. But he was extremely lucky, by about an inch and a half. He was deemed okay by the emergency room doctors.

This video was shot by me - it was a meaningless last game, and I wanted to capture some memories of our departing 12-year-olds. I obviously don't like watching this, but I consider it a wake-up call worth sharing.