On June 5, 2015, spectator Tonya Carpenter was struck by the barrel of a broken bat while seated at field level during a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. The bat hit her in the face, resulting in serious injuries that a first appeared to be life-threatening. This incident once again raises the issue of fan safety and the Baseball Rule (i. e., assumption of risk). For too long baseball has been protected by the Baseball Rule. As a result, organized ball has done little to improve fan safety beyond placing netting behind home plate and putting warnings on the back of tickets and making pre-game announcements about the danger from balls and bats entering the stands. For a discussion of this issue, I recommend listening to “Is Fenway Safe Enough for Fans?“, an 11-minute segment on WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.
Posted by: Bob Gorman | July 2, 2015