I would like to review some statements made by Jim Quinlan, the national program coordinator for American Legion Baseball. Quinlan stated, "Miles City apparently stands alone in insisting on wooden-bat-only play." He is wrong. Visit www.americanlegionwoodbatbaseball.org.
The baseball player who died in Utah was, in fact, in the batting cages throwing for batting practice with a friend, but the school prohibits players from practicing with aluminum bats in the batting cages for insurance purposes. I was told this by the investigating police officer.
There is no accurate account studies or statistics documenting the injuries to baseball players because most baseball programs have a voluntary reporting system. If the accident does not go against the team's insurance policy (most parents' insurance policy pays first), then the information is lost or forgotten.
If possible, I would like to ask Coach Messer, what leadership and good sportsmanship did he teach his players this week? Messer stated it was "strictly a baseball decision." He's right, for numbers don't lie. Bozeman Bucks were 24-3 with a 5-0 conference record compared to Miles City Mavericks 6-15 with a 0-5 conference record before this story broke.
And also, aluminum bats outperform wood bats. But then again, if aluminum bats do not hit the baseball any faster and are as safe as wooden bats (that's what the bat manufacturers want you to believe), then there shouldn't be any difference in swinging one bat compared to the other.