How Dangerous is Baseball?


A Look at the Risks Involved with America’s Favorite Pastime

Concerns about safety may not be a major factor for parents during baseball season, but not many people realize how dangerous the game of baseball can be. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 627,000 baseball-related injuries are treated every year.

Many of these injuries develop over time due to players repeating the same strenuous actions over and over again, which can lead to shoulder instability, tendonitis, and joint inflammation. However, the most serious injuries such as head trauma occur suddenly and can have long-lasting effects that impact players and fans for the rest of their lives.

At a high school level, some pitchers are able to throw baseballs as fast as 90 miles per hour. When a baseball moving that fast is hit by a bat, the velocity may increase to more than 100 miles per hour. Players hit in the head by baseballs have suffered significant brain damage, broken bones, and other serious medical complications. A high school senior, Spencer Ludman, was a baseball player for Davenport Assumption High School when he was hit in the head by a foul ball while standing in the visitors’ dugout. Ludman has permanent brain damage and a seizure disorder resulting from the incident. He recently won a suit against the school for 1.5 million dollars by proving that the school did not have a safe dugout design.

Even injuries to the spectators in the stands are not unheard of. Within the last year, two spectators at major league baseball games have been struck by debris from broken bats flying over protective netting in the stadium. One man suffered lacerations over his left eye due to the debris and the other also suffered serious injury. Both cases required the injured fan to leave the stadium to receive medical care.

Beyond the immediate traumatic brain injuries, some young players suffer long-term damage due to the continued stress placed on their joints and other body parts. Shoulder instability, for example, induces quick impulses of pain, the feeling that an arm is loose or “slipping” out of its socket, limitations in arm movement due to pain, and frequent dislocations of the shoulder. Such an injury could affect physical performance and cause long-term pain in the future.

Safety is a serious concern for baseball players and fans alike. The safety precautions taken by teams and organizations do not always protect everyone despite good intentions.

If you or a loved one is injured playing or watching a baseball game, you should contact a personal injury attorney with experience representing victims with sports injury claims.

Zac Pingle About Zac Pingle

Zac Pingle was born in Florida, and grew up in several places across the United States. From a young age, Zac developed a taste for writing, reading under trees and getting into trouble. Currently, Zac resides in Oregon as a college student where he aspires to become an English professor.