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'Evening News' Hits Against Metal Bat Manufacturers

     Sports are risky, sometimes leading to lasting injuries. In one case covered by the May 18 “CBS Evening News,” parents blamed aluminum bat manufacturers for their son’s injury.

 

     “[T]welve-year-old Steven Domalewski was pitching for his team when he was hit with a line drive straight to the chest,” CBS correspondent Bianca Solorzano said. “He stopped breathing for 20 minutes. He survived but is brain damaged and severely disabled.”

 

      The family blames the bat and is suing its manufacturer.

 

     “The Domalewskis blame Steven’s injuries on the aluminum bat used during the game, claiming the high performance bat sends balls flying dangerously harder and faster than wooden bats,” Solorzano said. “Tomorrow they’re filing a lawsuit against the bat manufacturer Louisville Slugger, the New Jersey State Little League and the Wayne, N.J. Sports Authority.”

 

     The “Evening News” story did not include anyone to defend the bat manufacturer.

 

     But Jim Darby, senior vice president of promotions for Easton Sports, another bat manufacturer – told USA Today there is no conclusive evidence linking injuries to the bats.

 

     “They’re safe products,” Darby said to USA Today in a June 3, 2007 story about the use of metal and wooden bats. “They’ve been around for 35 years. … When they say it’s a safety issue and they have no data to prove it out there, that's a concern to us.”

 

     “Two generations of players have grown up with these bats and honed their skills,” Darby said. “They’re used by the NCAA all the way down to Little League. The game is fine, and the safety data proves that.”

 

     CBS’s Solorzano did say proponents argue lighter aluminum bats encourage younger kids to play baseball due to their weight. Aluminum bats also don’t break like wooden bats. But the attorney for the Domalewskis, Ernie Fronzuto, called the aluminum bat “a weapon.” 

     “I see a weapon,” Fronzuto said. “The use of aluminum bats in these cases is an unreasonably unsafe

Correction: BMI misspelled attorney Ernest Fronzuto’s name in the original version of this story. The spelling in the report was based on the CBS story. BMI regrets the error.