Superstar commenter Colin did the Lord’s work in pointing out the obvious from this story about the perils of broken projectile maple bats in baseball — namely that ballparks from Peoria to Petaluma are filled to the gills with objects that are actually designed to rocket around at high speeds: Baseballs.
According to the Wall Street Journal, about 300 people per year are hospitalized after being hit by flying baseballs at major and minor league parks. Recently a seven-year-old boy in Chicago had his skull fractured by a foul ball off the bat of Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly.
WSJ law blogger Ashby Jones goes into the liability issues, including the fine print on the back of your ticket — which basically says “Duck bitch!”:
Courts throughout the ages have largely applied this “assumption of risk” rationale. In other words, if you’re there and close to the action, you’d better be paying attention. Finally, certain states have passed laws — Colorado, Arizona and Illinois reportedly among them — which inoculate clubs from liability in such situations.
Something tells me the hysteria about maple bats is more about the “assumption of risk” than the “actuality of risk.” Of course by writing that I am guaranteeing that a Manny Ramirez barrel shard is going to tear through the abdomen of a nun making her first trip to Fenway, but I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take.