Tragedy in Kansas..

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

We talk a lot about getting kids involved in sports, and we all know it’s a great thing for youngsters to learn teamwork, playing by the rules, etc. But every once in a while tragedy seeps into our mission of sports.

Case in point: A 9-year-old bat boy who was hit in the head as a player was taking practice swings died Sunday evening of his injuries. Kaiser Carlile, who was a bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays, an amateur baseball team, was retrieving a bat (and wearing his helmet) when a player warming up took a practice swing during Saturday’s game and hit Kaiser in the head. Absolutely an accident, but a tragedy nonetheless.

Kaiser was injured near the on-deck circle during the game on Saturday, a playoff game in the National Baseball Congress World Series. He was initially treated by the home plate umpire, an experienced paramedic, before being rushed to Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. A spokesman for the National Baseball Congress confirmed Kaiser was wearing a helmet, which is mandatory for all teams.

Perhaps this statement from National Baseball Congress General Manager Kevin Jenks says it best: “It’s difficult to remember a day that is darker than this one. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and this accident certainly is a memorable example. Kaiser was simply doing something he loved.”

A couple of reminders here: First, anyone involved in youth sports or events management knows that importance of having first aid, athletic trainers and an ambulance on site. Second, accidents do happen that no amount of medical personnel can prevent. This tragedy is not a reason to keep kids away from sports, but there’s a good chance new safety rules and/or equipment may come into play in the future to try to prevent future accidents like this.

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