Danger at the Ballpark

 

 

Image result for photo speeding baseball

Pitchers are throwing the ball 90 – 100 miles per hour now. A 90-mph fastball can leave the bat at 110 mph. source

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Anyone who pays some attention to baseball knows that it’s dangerous to get near a game.  That’s why batters wear helmets and pads.  And it’s one reason spectators pay attention to every pitch and protect themselves. Also they want the ball. Also the sharp pieces of broken bats fly into the crowd.

While I was driving past Louisville once, I heard on the radio a man from the Louisville Slugger company who said major league players use 80 bats in a season.

These dangers are greatest in the lower, very expensive seats, though we’ve seen  foul balls come toward us on the upper deck.

I feel sorry for anyone hurt anywhere, maybe especially kids; but I feel no support for lawsuits demanding damages from the team owners.

Why do people take small children and even infants into an area swarming with people, then into a park with 40,000 people, some drinking beer and/or margaritas, busy with hot dogs, tacos, and nachos ?  My authoritative belief  is that most kids under 9 or 10 can’t or don’t want to focus on the process of the game or to be alert to dangers of various kinds, including  hygiene in the busy washrooms.  Is that changing table clean?  The kids can learn the game from television as well or better than in the park.  Always with parental help, of course.

When a hot line drive heads into the stands, will you always see it coming?  You’d better.

You can’t expect to collect on an injury that is your own damn fault.

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From the Trib:

Spectators hurt by baseballs face long odds in court
State law shields teams from litigation

By Steve Schmadeke and Elvia Malagon,  Chicago Tribune 10.14.17
Juanita DeJesus never saw the ball coming.
DeJesus was sitting along the first base line at a 2009 minor-league baseball game in Gary when an infield fly struck her in the face just as she looked up to spot the ball. The impact broke several bones in her face and resulted in permanent blindness in her left eye.
Her injuries were strikingly similar to those recently suffered by John “Jay” Loos, a Schaumburg man who filed a negligence lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs this week after also being blinded in his left eye when he was hit by a foul ball while sitting in a seat down the first base line in the outfield at Wrigley Field in late August.
“I had no idea that you were subjected to such missiles and the rate of speed that a ball can come into the stands,” Loos, 60, told reporters Monday. “In the stands, you know, you are sitting behind the plate, you can’t tell when the ball is contacted, you can’t tell where the ball is going, you can’t tell the rate of speed it’s going until it’s on top of you.”
But like DeJesus, whose lawsuit was dismissed outright by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2014, Loos faces long odds of winning in court.
Not only have judges across the country thrown out such lawsuits, but Illinois is one of four states where the legislature enshrined into law the so-called Baseball Rule, which absolves stadium owners of liability so long as an adequate number of seats — largely in the area looking onto home plate — are behind protective netting. Fans who sit elsewhere are presumed to have willingly assumed the risk of being hit by a ball or bat, according to the rule, which is now more than a century old.
The debate over increased safety — versus fans enjoying unobstructed views and the chance to catch a souvenir foul ball — was reignited in September when a little girl was hit by a rocketing foul ball at Yankee Stadium, prompting Major League Baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, to say the league is looking again at extending protective netting.
“The events at yesterday’s game involving a young girl were extremely upsetting for everyone in our game,” Manfred said in a statement, adding: “We will redouble our efforts on this important issue.”
In 2015, the league issued recommendations that ballparks have protective netting between the dugouts for any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate. Those recommendations prompted the Cubs to extend the netting out that distance at Wrigley Field before the 2016 season, a Cubs spokesman has said.
The team’s president of business operations, Crane Kenney, told WSCR-AM 670 The Score last month that the Cubs would add at least 30 more feet of netting before next season as Wrigley Field renovations move the dugouts farther down the foul lines. Last year the White Sox also extended netting at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Beyond the Baseball Rule, legal obstacles include difficulty proving that spectator injuries are so commonplace that the courts should intervene. Last year, a federal judge in California threw out a class-action lawsuit against MLB filed by two fans who argued protective netting should be strung up along the entire length of the foul lines at all stadiums. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to show they and any other fans faced enough risk of injury to give them legal standing to sue.
In Loos’ case, his attorney argues there are two exceptions in the law that could allow them to win the lawsuit. He hopes to convince a judge that the MLB isn’t covered by Illinois’ stadium owner liability law and that the Cubs’ conduct in failing to install netting was reckless — both high hurdles. Another injured fan who alleged the Cubs recklessly removed netting behind home plate in 1992 to make way for skyboxes saw his case dismissed, records show.
“It’s obvious that the Cubs have known people are being seriously injured — it’s happened there before,” said Loos’ attorney, Colin Dunn. “It’s at least going to be a jury question as to whether this was willful and wanton conduct.”
But Dunn indicated the case may get settled. “I got a feeling that they want to talk to us,” he said of the Cubs, whom he reached out to before filing suit. “They do care about their fans. I’m hopeful that they’ll do the right thing.”
A Cubs spokesman declined to comment but directed a reporter to the statement issued by the team Monday that said “the safety of our fans is paramount to a great game day experience.”
It’s not publicly known whether these types of injuries are on the rise, though the class-action lawsuit alleged that they likely were, as pitching speeds go up and batted balls travel faster. A 2003 study found that about 35 fans were injured by foul balls per 1 million spectator visits to major league stadiums.
The risks of being hit by an errant ball or broken bat are low, according to lawsuits filed against other major league teams over injuries. But the injuries they cause can be catastrophic, especially to children.
A 7-year-old Cubs fan attending his first baseball game at Wrigley Field in 2008 was left with a fractured skull and swelling around his brain after being hit in the head by a line drive, the Tribune reported. There are no records indicating the family ever filed a lawsuit.
The Atlanta Braves reportedly settled a lawsuit recently filed by the father of a 6-year-old girl whose skull was fractured by a line drive in 2010.
But in an aside in her ruling to toss a California class-action lawsuit, the judge questioned why the league hadn’t done more to mitigate the danger to its youngest fans.
“Why Major League Baseball, knowing of the risk to children in particular, does little to highlight this risk to parents remains a mystery,” wrote Oakland U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in her ruling throwing out the class-action lawsuit over protective netting.
In 2014 a Bloomberg Businessweek report found that about 1,750 spectators are injured annually by baseballs that fly into the stands. Around 73 million people attend major league games each year.
Spokespeople for the Cubs and White Sox declined to provide figures on how many fans are similarly injured each year.
Figures unearthed in the class-action lawsuit show that during the 2015 season at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles an average of about two people were hurt by foul balls per game out of the 46,000 on average in attendance. In Seattle, about 300 people attending Mariners games were injured by errant baseballs out of the 10 million who attended games between 2005 and 2009, according to an appeals court ruling upholding the dismissal of another fan injury case.
This week, the Chicago City Council passed a toothless resolution calling for the city’s major league teams to surpass MLB’s minimum standards for protective netting and instead “lead the league.” The resolution also asks the teams to “reconsider” the Baseball Rule that transfers liability for spectator injuries to fans who sit in unprotected areas.
In the early 1990s, two rare legal victories for spectators injured while attending separate Cubs and White Sox games may have been the impetus for an Illinois law that now protects stadium owners from similar suits.
Delbert Yates Jr., a fourth-grader, was sitting behind Wrigley Field’s home plate in 1983 when he was struck under his right eye by a Leon Durham pop-up seconds after betting his sister whether Durham would get a hit, court records show. His attorneys at trial presented evidence that the screen behind home base was inadequate, and the family won a $67,500 jury verdict.
A state appeals court upheld the verdict in 1992. That same year, another appellate panel reinstated a lawsuit filed by a woman whose jaw was broken at a White Sox game when she looked up from her popcorn and was struck in the face by a foul ball, finding that the issue of whether the Sox had provided proper warning of her injury risks was a trial issue.
Just six months later, state lawmakers stepped in and passed the Baseball Facility Liability Act, shielding stadium owners from most lawsuits by turning the Baseball Rule into state law. James Jasper, who was struck by a foul ball at a Cubs game, filed a lawsuit over his injury and argued the new law was an unconstitutional handout to stadium owners. But in 1999 an appellate court upheld the law and the lower-court dismissal of Jasper’s lawsuit, essentially ending the legal issue in Illinois.
Outside of Wrigley Field during a recent scheduled playoff game, many fans sided with the Cubs organization on the issue of fan injuries. Among them was Naomi Rodriguez, 56, of Wrigleyville, who said spectators must pay attention to flying balls and bats.
“When you walk in the park, you have to know that this can happen,” Rodriguez said. “It’s just what happens, but I love my Cubbies. I back them up 100 percent.”
Others welcomed more protective netting at Wrigley Field. Mike Ford, 46, of Crown Point, said he believes fans are assuming the risk of being injured by sitting in areas where foul balls typically land. Standing outside of Wrigley Field with his 11-year-old son, Ford said the risk of being hit with one of the balls is one of the reasons why he buys seats in the terrace reserved outfield area.
He would like to see the spectator netting extended at the ballpark, which would expand his seating options.
“I’d be willing to go down to that section if I had the opportunity to,” he said.
sschmadeke@chicagotribune.com
emalagon@chicagotribune.com
Twitter @steveschmadeke
Twitter @elviamalagon

Hooray for Short People !

source

She wins  against girls a foot taller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi State’s Morgan William, right, celebrates with Breanna Richardson

“Friday night in the national (basketball) semifinals, the 5-5 (yeah, right) William went for winning shots twice against UConn’s Gabby Williams, who is 5-11 but has amazing hops. The first one, at the end of regulation, Williams blocked. The second one, at the end of overtime, soared over her fingertips as the clock was winding down to zero.

That one swished, and once again, Morgan William had stolen the show at the women’s NCAA tournament, leading Mississippi State past top-ranked UConn 66-64.”

After the game, the coach picked her up and kissed her.

UConn had not lost a game in the last 111, beat MSU in last year’s tournament by 60 points.

 

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Max Schmeling, Big Good Guy

 

Max-schmeling.jpg Image result for hitler photosImage result for joe louis photos

Hitler came to power in Germany and started rounding up gays, Roma (Gypsies), people of color,  handicapped people, and millions of Jews to be loaded into cattle cars and shipped to their deaths; all with the support of thousands of Germans who attended his rallies and cheered as he ranted, Deutschland uber alles, “ Germany first.

That’s about the time I was born in the 1930’s.  A time when prize-fighting was very popular in the U.S. and Europe and the Olympics were held in Berlin.

Hitler expected the black Americans to fail in the Games and the white Germans to prevail. Wrong!  And he expected the German champion heavyweight fighter, Max Schmeling, to beat the young black American.  Well, he was right the first time–Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis in the 12th round of their first fight.  Two years later, Louis hammered Schmeling  unconscious in the first 124 seconds of the fight.

Schmeling had been thought to be a stooge of Hitler.  In fact he didn’t like the Nazis, resisted their pressure to fire his Jewish manager, and he risked life hiding two Jewish boys on Kristalnacht.

(On Kristalnacht, Night of Broken Glass, Nazi thugs ravaged Jewish neighborhoods.  My Rabbi saw his father beaten in the street that night.)

Louis volunteered for the U.S. Army and Schmeling was drafted into the German forces.  Disabled by a  battle-wound, he visited American P.O.W. camps in Germany, boxed in exhibition bouts, and occasionally tried to help conditions for the prisoners.

What interests me here is that after the War, Max and Joe spoke often on the phone and became friends !  When Max visited Joe in Chicago in 1954, they shared regret that publicity over the years had made them appear to be bitter enemies.

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Schmeling became rich in the Coca Cola business and with others helped to support Joe Louis who never saw most of the  $4.6 million he earned fighting. Louis worked for awhile as a greeter at  Caesar’s Palace, a Las Vegas casino, even tried pro wrestling to earn his living.

Max gave money to Joe’s widow when he died.

Though Max had always asked him to avoid talking about the event, Henri Lewin, the president of the Sands Hotel, made this statement at a dinner in 1989:

“Beginning on Nov. 9, 1938, for four days, Max Schmeling hid my brother and me in his Berlin apartment. That was the night known now as ‘the Crystal Night,’   when the Gestapo began picking up all Jews off the streets”.

“Max Schmeling risked everything he had for us. If we had been found in his apartment, I would not be here this evening and neither would Max. And that, friends, is the kind of champion Max Schmeling is.”

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http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/es/prensa/2005-prensa/max-schmeling-joe-louis-s/    Detailed article followed Schmeling’s death in 2005 at age 99.  “Above all, Max Schmeling was much appreciated inside and outside Germany as a human being and private person.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis_vs._Max_Schmeling#Louis.E2.80.93Schmeling_paradox   The two fights with background information.

http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/9404398/more-just-fight                     It was … the fight’s cultural, racial and political ramifications that set it apart and led historian Bert Sugar to label it “The greatest sporting event of the 20th century.”

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-12-23/sports/sp-588_1_max-schmeling      “An old friend recalls how the former champion saved his life by outwitting the Gestapo”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht  ” . . .  pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians.”

 

http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/7-historical-odd-couples  ” . . . they formed an enduring friendship that lasted the rest of their lives.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LNzWHuygpw VIDEO First round knockout  VIDEO of 128-second 2nd fight.  Warning:  it’s brutal.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSaXM0vZrws   VIDEO  “Great Documentary about the lives and fights between Max Schmeling and Joe Louis!”

Max Schmeling, Max Schmeling an Autobiography. 1998, Bonus Books. German edition, 1977. Lots of photos.                                                                           Reviewer doubts distance between himself and Hitler and Nazis that  Schmeling claims,  http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-56625-108-2

 

 

 

 

RJN

 

 

Leah Nugent

Our Caribbean relative !

It was a nice surprise, as I watched the Millrose Games yesterday, to hear that  one of the runners in the 60 meter hurdles would be Leah Nugent of Jamaica !  

Leah Nugent starts in the final of the women's 400m hurdles at the Supreme Ventures Jamaica Championships on July 1, 2016Leah Nugent starts in the final of the women’s 400m hurdles at the Supreme Ventures Jamaica Championships on July 1, 2016. Photo by Anthony Foster/Trackalerts.com

Leah ran sixth in last summer’s Olympics in the 400 meter hurdles.

She has been listed on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll as a student of English.

She was born in Pennsylvania, USA with strong heritage ties to Jamaica. Her father was born in Jamaica as well as her paternal grandparents.

Why did US-born UK grad run for Jamaica in Olympics? Photos

More on 2016 Olympics  photo

Athletic record

Who Cares About the Cubs?

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game SevenI remember my mother working in the kitchen while listening to a Cubs game described by Bert Wilson on the radio. I can still enjoy listening to a game on the radio almost as much as watching on television, if it’s narrated by a good announcer who gives what I want to know without jabbering the way Joe Buck has done on television in the Series.  I wonder whether his father, Jack, was a better announcer.

More recently,  Alice discovered a few years ago that she could enjoy watching a game while knitting.  Since then we have followed the team rather closely and cared whether they won,  They won a lot–103 wins in 162 games, the best record in either the National or the American League.

(As people, the players are lovable as someone said on the radio this morning.  Alice  feels annoyed when a competent, lovable guy is traded, and pleased when an incompetent is sent down the road.)

For me, that was good enough.  Win in the playoffs?  Get into the World Series?  Win the Series?  Nice, but not necessary for me to be satisfied the Cubs are the best team and had a lot of fun.   I could enjoy the last game without feeling under  threat of doom,  except in the 6th through 8th innings when I was asleep.

I connect this with the way Olympic athletes are treated in the news.  You earned  a gold medal–aren’t you terrific.  Silver, bronze medal?  What’s the matter with you?  Don’t expect to be noticed except as a failure.  You’re only the 2nd best swimmer in the world by half a second on a given day.

Someone who works into the finals of an Olympic event has achieved something right there.  A third-place medal ?  Good job as far as I’m concerned.

There are some great books about baseball, including books with the writing of talented sports reporters.  Here is one list of many lists online.

And drop into your public library and ask a librarian, not another staffer, to point you to the baseball books.  Keep in mind that a biography might sit in a different place.

Please, if you feel a response to this post, hit the REPLY button below.

 

NCAA reacts to NC’s LGBT law

NCAA PULLS 7 POSTSEASON EVENTS OUT OF NCAA  PULLS 7 EVENTS OUT OF NORTH CAROLINA DUE TO LGBT LAW

  sources  Associated Press and Fox Sports Sep 12, 2016
The NCAA has pulled seven championship events from North Carolina, including opening-weekend men’s basketball tournament games, for the coming year due to a state law that some say can lead to discrimination against LGBT people.

In a news release Monday, the NCAA says the decision by its board of governors came ”because of the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.”

”This decision is consistent with the NCAA’s long-standing core values of inclusion, student-athlete well-being and creating a culture of fairness,” said Georgia Tech President G.P. ”Bud” Peterson, the chair of the board of governors.
The law – known as HB2 – requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections.

HB2 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this year. A spokesman with McCrory’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday evening.

The only championship events that can be hosted in North Carolina this academic year are ones determined when a team earns the right to play on their own campus.

The NCAA said it will relocate the men’s basketball first- and second-round games that were scheduled for March 17 and 19 in Greensboro. The NCAA will also relocate:

– the Division I women’s soccer championship scheduled for Dec. 2 and 4 in Cary, just outside the capital city of Raleigh;

– the Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships set for Dec. 2 and 3 in Greensboro;

– the Division I women’s golf regional championships set for May 8-10 in Greenville;

– the Division III men’s and women’s tennis championships set for May 22-27 in Cary;

– the Division I women’s lacrosse championship set for May 26 and 28 in Cary;

– and the Division II baseball championship from May 27 to June 3 in Cary.

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham and North Carolina State AD Debbie Yow both issued statements Monday evening saying they were disappointed at the loss of the events.

”We certainly hope there will be resolution in the very near future,” Yow said.

The campaign spokesman for Democrat Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general and McCrory’s re-election opponent in November, said the law needs to be repealed.

”It seems that almost every day, we learn of a new consequence of HB2,” spokesman Ford Porter said. ”… We need to repeal this law and get our state back on track.”

The NCAA’s move leaves the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship game in Charlotte as the marquee college sporting event in the state this year as the men’s basketball tournament starts a two-year stay in Brooklyn, New York.

However, that event also could be in jeopardy. In May, the ACC announced that member schools discussed the law during their annual spring meetings and said it could impact whether the state hosts league championship events.

In April, the NCAA announced it was adopting an anti-discrimination measure that would affect the way the governing body evaluates bids to host sporting events and required sites to ”demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”

In a statement Monday night, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the governing body will delay announcements on future championship sites until early next year. That comes as it reviews responses to questionnaires required of prospective site hosts on how they would comply with the NCAA’s anti-discrimination measure.

In announcing its decision Monday, the NCAA stated current North Carolina laws ”make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver” on that requirement.

The NCAA also took special note of four ways North Carolina’s law differs from other states. The NCAA pointed out that five states – Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington – and several cities prohibit travel by public employees and representatives of public institutions to the state of North Carolina. Those representatives prohibited to travel could include athletes, coaches and athletic administrators.

Monday’s action by the NCAA is the latest public and business backlash that has arisen since the law was enacted. The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans instead of hosting it in Charlotte as originally scheduled because of the law. Duke lost a men’s basketball game from its schedule when Albany backed out due to that state’s travel ban, while the Vermont women’s basketball team has canceled a December trip to play North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Ringo Starr have canceled plans to play in North Carolina. And PayPal reversed plans to open a 400-employee operation center in Charlotte.

Horseback Riding Therapy

Susan volunteers at Partners for Progress which provides riding therapy for special needs kids, guided by physical and occupational therapists. Besides assisting on rides, she grooms and and exercises horses.  Now she has resumed riding herself. This picture is from a show in which clients performed.      RJN                 pfp show

Shannon is the rider,  She has no use of her legs and some other challenges, but she won first place in this class.  Sara, a volunteer is leading.  Dustin is staff at PFP, the director’s son.  I am the other side walker.  They loaned me a PFP show shirt, however was a man’s XXL, I have miles of it tucked in my jeans.  Ty is a horse new to the barn on loan.   Susan

A Large Gentleman

Bases loaded, burley Fielder grabbed his bat
and slapped a homer over right except that
five-eight Johnson topped the eight-foot wall
and came down with the grand-slam ball—

princely Fielder turned to right and tipped his hat.

Image result for prince fielder photos

Prince Fielder and Reed Johnson, Milwaukee, 6.12.09

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Alice and I saw this incident, she in the ballpark, I on television.

RJN

 

Not My Cat !

 

Image result for black cat baseball player photo

People like to talk about the Cubs’  billy goat curse and the black cat curse–

The black cat that haunted Ron Santo on Sep. 9, 1969 was a harbinger of doom.  The curse is said to have reared its ugly head  on September 9th, 1969 when a black cat ran onto the field as the Cubs played a crucial series against the Mets at Shea Stadium. After running circles around Ron Santo in the on-deck circle, the black cat quickly disappeared underneath the stands.The ill-fated season saw the Cubs in first place for 155 days, until mid-September when they lost 17 out of 25 games. Wikipedia, Cubbies Baseball.com

More pics of this situation at source.

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nosey catsOur Raven and Anhinga, Annie, have never left the house for fear of coyotes, hawks, cars, diseases.

Our earlier cat Butch disappeared once.  I’ve told that story in a children’s book that I’ll email to anyone who’d like to read it.  Just ask!

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