Dangers of Aluminum Bats Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2298 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

However, the association backpedaled after Easton Sports Inc., the largest manufacturer of aluminum bats in the United States, filed a restraint-of-trade suit seeking injunctive relief and $267 million in damages (Reichert pp). But the case, Easton Sports, Inc. v. NCAA, No 98-CV-2351, was settled after the NCAA revised its rule to require only that aluminum bats perform at a level no greater that the best performing Major League wooden bat (Reichert pp). And a month later, a federal court dismissed a case, re Baseball Bat Antitrust Litig.,75 F. Supp. 2d 1189, filed by a wooden bat manufacturer that alleged the NCAA had conspired with aluminum bat makers to exclude wooden bats from market competition (Reichert pp).

Some teams, leagues, and conferences in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and other states have banned aluminum bats (Reichert pp). Moreover, MacKay, the designer of the Air Attack bat and a former Louisville Slugger employee, filed a petition with the Consumer Product Safety Commission requesting that the agency issue a performance standard for non-wooden bats, yet the CPSC declined to act claiming that the data were inconclusive (Reichert pp). White believes that the legal system seems to be the only way to confront the performance of aluminum bats, because manufacturers cannot run the risk of verdicts that find their bats defective (Reichert pp).Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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In August 2005, after getting two quick outs in the top of the first inning, Fenton pitcher Brian Marquardt fell behind 2-0 to the Addison Trail batter (Kmitch pp). Although he does not recall the batter's name, he does remember serving an 80 mph fastball right down the middle, and a second later, he was flat on his back on the pitcher's mount, his face swollen and covered in blood (Kmitch pp). He had been hit between the eyes by what league officials estimated was a 105 mph line drive off his opponent's aluminum alloy bat (Kmitch pp). Marquardt, a three-sport athlete and soon-to-be senior at Fenton High School in Bensenville, avoided brain damage, however he was left with two shattered eye sockets, two cracked nasal cavities, a broken nose and a sunken forehead (Kmitch pp). Park District Vice President, Frank Lazzara, has now led the effort in the Illinois district to ban aluminum bats at baseball games on all district-owned fields, excluding softball (Kmitch pp). Lazzara said, "There's lots of talk about banning the aluminum bats across the country, but that's all it is, a lot of talk ... But ... we've got to get these weapons out of kids' hands ... period" (Kmitch pp).

The aluminum verses wood bat debate has been discussed at many levels, ranging from Little League to college teams, yet aluminum alloy bats are still the legal and primary choice of athletes up to the professional level, where only wooden bats are permitted (Kmitch pp). This past spring, the National Collegiate Athletics Association imposed several restrictions on the size and length of aluminum bats and the speed at which a ball can leave the bat (Kmitch pp).

In 2002, a study from Brown University Bioengineers concluded that the average speed of a hit off the fastest bat, a metal model, was 93.3 mph, while the average off the slowest bat, a wooden model, was 86.1 mph (Studies pp). Only 2% of hits made with wooden bats exceeded 100 mph, while 37% of hits with the fastest metal bat more than 100 mph (Studies pp).

MacKay says, "Everyone knows aluminum is faster than wood, I designed it to hit fast. I just didn't realize when I did it, it might kill people" (Coffey pp). MacKay says he has seen balls hit off aluminum bats at 137 mph, and has likened the competition between H& B. And Easton to "an arms race" (Coffey pp).

In a memo to the NCAA in February 2000, Dr. Jim Sherwood of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, wrote of "compromised protocol" and suggested the tests were done in view of the "urgency to end the Easton case" (Coffey pp). According to Sherwood, there was a loophole in the testing that allowed manufacturers to "tweak the bat to pass the test but still be lethal in the field" (Coffey pp).

Work Cited

Coffey, Wayne. "Scrape metal: Pols, parents & players going to bat for wood"

Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/38078p-35929c.html

Dreyfuss, Ira. "Are Wood Bats Safer Than Aluminum?" Associated Press Online.

November 11, 2002. Retrieved October 25, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.

High School Baseball Coach Gene Schultz Kee High School Lansing, Iowa


Kmitch, Justin. "Official throws strike against aluminum bats Fenton pitcher's violent injury on baseball diamond prompts proposed ban of the 'weapons.'" Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). August 07, 2005. Retrieved October 25, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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