Charge: Little League didn’t teach base-sliding

by Walter Olson on May 21, 2007

On Staten Island, New York, “Jean Gonzalez is suing a beloved veteran coach for not teaching her son Martin how to slide properly”. The boy, 12 at the time, was hurt sliding into second base. Coach Leigh Bernstein, along with “the New Springville Little League, and its international umbrella organization, Little League Baseball and Softball Inc., are all named as defendants in the suit, which charges them with never teaching him ‘skills needed to avoid and/or minimize the risks of injury,’ specifically how to run bases and slide.” (James Fanelli and Mike Scholl, “Base Accusation”, New York Post, May 20).


1 Richard Nieporent 05.21.07 at 5:41 pm

The next lawsuit will charge that the Little League is negligent in that it allows a metal weapon to be swung recklessly causing a projectile to be launched that results in serious injury to the hands, face and other parts of the body. In addition, they require that a dangerous object be repeatedly thrown that causes serious injury to said same body parts.

2 Jake 05.21.07 at 9:46 pm

Body armor. That’s what Little Leaguers need to safeguard them against unnecessary risk of injury. Expect Barack, Hillary, Reid, Kerry, Murtha, et al. to weigh in along these lines any day.

3 Joe 05.22.07 at 1:58 pm

If I remember right, my little brother’s little league in the late 70s didn’t allow sliding at all. A big reason was the huge size difference you get between pre-teen players. Another reason, though, is that sliding is a difficult skill to master and until then, it does more harm than good purely game-wise.

4 Jake 05.22.07 at 9:55 pm

When I was growing up in the 60s playing sandlot baseball, we slid. It’s not a hard skill to master — if you want to win. The notion that there is a cause of action here simply disregards the competitive spirit of youngsters.

Of course, we have no shortage of “advocates” for kids nowadays who think any form of serious physical competition is bad for them. Our kids can always play video games, I suppose.


5 William Nuesslein 05.23.07 at 10:48 am


I will confirm that the Plaintiff Bar and excessive protectionists tend to be Democrats, but I do not associate this defect with the people cited in your note except Mrs. Clinton. The last I looked, the grossest nanny in the world is the Republican Michael Bloomberg, and he is beloved for it. I love Science, and am dismayed by Bloomberg’s unscientific actions with regards to second hand smoke, school nutrition, and trans-fats.

6 Ryan Frank 05.23.07 at 11:49 am

William Nuesslein –

Nanny Bloomberg is a Republican in the same sense that I’m the Queen of England.

The guy switched his registration to avoid a crowded Democrat primary.

7 Tim 05.25.07 at 9:32 am

I would like to see this little league shut itself down for a season, sending all the parents a letter explaining that they are closing down for the season pending resolution of a lawsuit brought by Jean Gonzalez.

These other parents would surely tell Ms. Gonzalez what they think of the impact of frivolous litigation.

8 john 05.26.07 at 5:46 pm

It is a game. Little League usually are looking for people to help. The lady is looking for a big payoff from the BIG SLOT MACHINE IN THE SKY.

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