Little Leaguer, 14, throws helmet in air in celebration

by Walter Olson on January 17, 2014

It strikes his team’s coach, who then sues him. [Lakeside, Calif.; Deadspin]

{ 3 comments }

1 DC 01.17.14 at 6:09 pm

Having a child who played baseball, and knowing the exuberance of kids when they win tough games, it’s not unexpected to see kids celebrate, toss a helmet, jump on each other, and so forth. Whether it’s against specific rules or not. (Yes, in some places, little Jimmy is limited to smiling in celebration, if even that,lest we hurt the other sides feelings)They’re 14 y/o kids, for criminy’s sake. I consider this ‘coach’ a complete loser. There’s risk in any activity. What was he going to do if a kid accidentally swung his bat and hit him while coaching batting?

2 gitarcarver 01.17.14 at 8:19 pm

The coach in this story appeared on Fox News yesterday (I saw the video) and comes off as a weasel.

He said he wasn’t suing the kid, but when confronted with the papers, he said that his lawyer said he should sue the kid. He said his medical bills were in the thousands, but is suing for $100,000 in medical bills. No one saw the injury take place. He said he felt something pop and looked down and there was a helmet next to his leg.

He can’t explain what happened, other than the kid threw the helmet and his leg was injured.

The medical issues seem strange to me as well. The guy had a pre-existing issue with his Achilles tendon. He said that he iced the area and then went to the doctor shortly after the injury occurred in March. He then said that he went in July to have the injury looked at and by then, it had been so long that the operation was more difficult. (Which seems to imply the original doctor missed the fact the tendon was ruptured.) He then had the tendon operated on in December.

The family claims that he coached 11 more games, conducted practices and ran on and off the field. He said in response to that “I guess I am stronger than a lot of people.”

I umpired many years at all levels of ball and I cannot figure out how this injury occurred. I think it is far more likely that in his exuberance that his team won, the guy jumped in the air, landed, ruptured the tendon, and blamed the kid.

The coach has now said he will accept an apology from the family. At $600,000 (the amount for which he is suing) that is about $300,000 for each word in the sentence of “I’m sorry.”

3 marco73 01.19.14 at 10:23 am

Any volunteers who go onto the field of play in any sport, for coaching, umpiring, or other necessary activities, must take into consideration the risks involved. On a baseball/softball diamond, foul balls fly everywhere. Equipment can come off when a player is trying to get to a base. Hitters toss their bats after a hit. Catchers are trained to throw off their mask when trying to get to a fly ball.
This guys supposedly had a torn or damaged achilles tendon, and went for 9 months before the operation? Most people can’t walk 10 steps with a damaged achilles tendon. This story just doesn’t add up. Sounds like someone is trying to find a deep pocket.

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