Kaiser Carlile, a 9-year-old batboy for his local amateur baseball team, was on his way back from retrieving a bat when he was accidentally hit by a player taking a practice swing.
Even though he was wearing a helmet, the impact sent him to the ground, and after first aid was administered by an umpire, he was immediately taken to the hospital. However, in spite of the quick and excellent medical care Kaiser received, he unfortunately died from the injuries he sustained.
Everyone involved has been shaken to their core, and as news of Kaiser’s passing traveled around the country, it has given us all pause. Baseball moms are particularly affected. While baseball seems like such a benign sport, there are inherent dangers even though it’s a noncontact sport. You can get injured even when you’re not playing a game (by a foul ball or a broken bat), so it’s not a huge stretch to imagine the dangers that lurk for the players, coaches and on-field staff themselves.
Player, staff and spectator safety is paramount no matter what game you play. Our kids’ coaches make a point of teaching vital safety rules well before they step onto a field, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them how to stay as safe as possible. Little League has a Sample Safety Code for those in its organization to use — here are some vital tips to share with your kids before the next time they step out onto the field.
- Always wear helmets and other protectors when required.
- Keep your arm out of the path of the bat if you’re a catcher.
- Keep your head up when running the bases to watch out for other players and batted balls.
- Watch out for balls during warmups.
- Keep your eye on the game, even if you’re on the bench.
- Don’t goof off during games — it’s a distraction and can be dangerous if a ball comes your way.
For coaches and umpires, there are also vital rules they need to abide by as well, for their safety and that of the kids they are monitoring.
- Inspect the field before play for holes, debris or other obstacles.
- Monitor the weather.
- Make sure lighting is adequate for evening or night games.
Kaiser’s death was a horrible accident, and as Kaiser’s family and the Liberal Bee Jays organization are mourning the loss of one of their own, we are all mourning along with them.