All right folks, it’s the end of the road for the metal-versus-wood bat debate in New York City. According to The Associated Press, metal bats will be banned in high school baseball starting in September after the City Council on Monday overrode a mayoral veto of the bill, 41-4. This decision subscribes to the theory that metal bats produce harder and faster hits, risking serious injury to young players due to less reaction time.
Youth leagues and lawmakers are proposing similar bans in other areas, including New Jersey, where a 12-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest after a batted ball struck him in the chest in between heart beats last summer (he did recover and returned home this past winter.)
Opponents cite an American Legion Baseball study from 2005 that found no substantial scientific proof to support the argument that wooden bats are safer than metal bats.
I know this is stirring up a lot of discussion in baseball across the country. I can’t make myself believe that a baseball reacts the same off a wooden bat as it does off of a metal one. Perhaps a different study would produce varying results. But even if it didn’t – what’s the harm in changing over to wood bats all the way up? It is how the game was originally played. It has a pure quality about it. If it does happen to be safer for youth athletes, it’s a win-win situation.
Do you think the issue should be left up to those who run the youth leagues or that the New York City government made the right move?