MODESTO (CBS13) — The death of a 9-year-old bat boy in Kansas has turned the spotlight on how local minor league teams handle their safety.
Kaiser Carlile, 9, was struck in the head by a batter taking warm-up swings as he went to collect a bat. Carlile was wearing a helmet at the National Baseball Congress World Series Game.
Modesto Nuts General Manager Tyler Richardson says the boy’s death is a tragic warning of the dangers of the game.
“Unfortunately something like this brings even more awareness to what goes on from a bats and balls standpoint,” he said. “Our staff, first of all they are employees, so with that there’s an extensive training that goes on preseason, what to look for, what to be aware of.”
He says the Nuts’ staff of bat boys must always wear a helmet inside and outside the dugouts, and they must have plenty of experience on the field.
“Most of the bat boys’ background is in baseball, whether they played at a high-school level, or little league level,” he said. “Our bat boys’ minimum age is 16; most of them are even older than that, 18, 19 years old.”
Many parents at the Nuts game on Monday say the child’s death hits very close to home, even though it’s states away.
The Sacramento River Cats and Stockton Ports have similar rules for their bat boy staffs.