I saw this post on Yahoo Sports (Read Full Article Here) about a family suing the Easton Aluminum Baseball Bat company because their son was hit in the head from the ball that was hit with an Easton baseball bat, and the ball was hit so hard he had no time to react. Here is a synopsis from the article:
“…In their lawsuit targeting Easton, his family argues that the wildly popular metal bats are designed to send balls off the bat at such great velocity, young players don’t have a chance to react…”
I’m against frivolous lawsuits, and when I started reading the article, I immediately thought that this was another one. But then I started remembering my time as a baseball player, 20+ years, and how quickly the aluminum bats had changed from my high school years through my college years and how I they are now.
Aluminum bats are completely different now, and yes as the lawsuit states; the ball does jump off the bat quicker and harder. Blaming the reaction time and lack of talent of a child, as many of the commenters did, is completely wrong. It all started changing during the steroid era of baseball and all kids wanted to hit homeruns. Baseball bat corporations wanted show young baseball players their bats had the power to hit balls over the fence. So what they did was they thinned out, or shaved, the aluminum inside the walls of the bat, so the ball would be hit harder and farther in order to make a sale. It’s what we called “juiced” bats.
Want proof? Watch the College World Series. You’ll see brand new bats and hitters who have no homeruns during the regular season. All of a sudden these college hitters have 2, 3, 4, or even 5 homeruns during a 3-5 game series. Think they had a surge of power during the series, nope, they were supplied with “juiced” bats. When young aspiring baseball players watch the televised games and see all hitters hitting homeruns, they ask for the bats. The corporations are only thinking of making money by making and promoting bats that make the ball go farther and harder.
Should Easton be sued, yes…they were and have been thinking about making money by making bats more powerful, but so have the other companies. There has been much discussion on banning aluminum bats for the children’s safety, but I don’t see that happening for long time, if it ever does. There is to much money involved, wood bats are much harder to hit with and break too easy, and the major aluminum bat companies (Easton, Louisville Slugger, Mizuno) have to much to lose if they were banned. I don’t feel here should be a ban on aluminum bats, but there definitely should be restrictions on how they are made.
I sure hope other children, who just want to have fun and aren’t in the sport to become professionals, don’t get hurt.