Are Ball Parks Too Dangerous?

March 25th, 2008 by Kathy McManus

A NJ family argues that America’s favorite pastime needs a safety upgrade.

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

Laura Kerod had great seats. 

She and her husband Kevin were cheering for their local New Jersey minor league baseball team—the Trenton Thunder—sitting enviably close to the dugout. 

Ms. Kerod turned to check the score board, then turned back. “And boom, it hit me,” she said of the foul ball that slammed into her face, ripping her lip, shattering her teeth, and fracturing her palate. 

Between doctor visits and surgeries, the Kerod’s started contacting politicians and circulating a petition, advocating for changes that would make a trip to the ballpark safer, including more protective netting and medical coverage for injured spectators.

To which baseball officials replied, read your ticket--there’s an inherent risk from stray bats and balls that’s spelled out and also announced before each game. 

But baseball has a special appeal to families, countered Mr. Kerod. Kids and parents don’t read their tickets at the baseball stadium. “Families should be able to go there and feel safe,” Mr. Kerod said. “When you go there, you see police, and they’re protecting you from terrorism. Who is protecting us from bats and balls?” 

Another New Jersey baseball fan disagreed. “With great seats comes great responsibility” he stated. “You, the spectator, must take personal responsibility for your safety.” 

Tell us what you think--should the responsibility for such a serious injury be the responsibility of the fan? Does America’s favorite pastime need to be made safer for the people sitting in the seats?