ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)- A tragedy in Kansas has sparked a national conversation about the safety of bat boys.
The Kansas Summer League Baseball team is mourning the loss of their 9-year-old bat boy, Kaiser Carlile.
Carlile was hit in the head by an on-deck batter during a game Saturday, and later passed away from his injuries.
Locally, Little League organizers told News 4 safety has always been a major concern, and they’re confident in the precautions they have in place.
Carlile was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but given how fast those bats travel, leagues for younger players have taken additional safety measures in the past.
The Orchard Park Little League strongly discourages “on-deck batting,” and ask players not to practice their swings while a teammate is walking up to bat.
Another precaution being taken are face shields to protect young players from foul balls.
The safety manager for the Orchard Park Little League told News 4 even a Little League baseball can do serious damage if it hits you in the chest. A few years ago, young players started wearing heart guards over their chest, to act as a barrier.
League organizers said they’ve seen a fair amount of minor injuries, from broken noses to broken bones, but they said they’ve never encountered serious game-related injuries.