Fans in major league baseball stands are injury victims

Published 3:08 am Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MILWAUKEE — A young fan was hit in the head with a broken bat during Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers.

The boy did not appear to be seriously injured, but he left Miller Park and was taken for X-rays. There was no immediate word on his condition.

In the bottom of the fourth, Alcides Escobar’s bat shattered when he grounded out to end the inning. A sharp piece of the barrel flew into the stands about 10 rows behind the Pirates’ on-deck circle, careering off several fans and hitting the boy in the head.

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After being tended to by ushers and medical personnel, the boy, holding a baseball, walked up the stairs under his own power and was cheered by other fans in his section.

The boy was taken on an ambulance cart for X-rays, according to an usher who was nearby.

One day earlier, a fan sustained minor injuries after falling over an outfield railing and onto the field before a Brewers game against the Chicago Cubs.

Many maple bats were banned in the minor leagues this season as part of Major League Baseball’s push to stop shattered shards of wood from flying dangerously through the air.

MLB and the union have been extensively studying the issue of broken maple bats since 2008, as splintered barrels wildly helicoptered all over the field and into the stands.