NYC Bat Ban Passes Final Hurdle, Council Overrides Mayor Veto
Monday, April 23rd 2007, 4:56 pm
News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) _ Metal bats will be banned in high school baseball starting this September in the nation's largest school system after the City Council on Monday overrode a mayoral veto of the bill.
The measure outlaws metal bats under the theory that they produce harder and faster hits, risking injury to young players who have less time to react. Opponents, who include Little League Baseball and sporting goods makers, say there is no evidence metal bats are more dangerous.
Youth leagues and lawmakers are proposing similar bans in other areas, including New Jersey, where a 12-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest and suffered serious injuries after a batted ball struck him in the chest.
In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the bat ban earlier this month, saying the issue should be left up to those who run the youth leagues, not the government. But the City Council overwhelmingly knocked down the veto by a vote of 41-4.
``What we're trying to do is reduce risk,'' said Councilmember James Oddo, the sponsor of the bill.
Opponents argue that there is no scientific evidence proving metal bats pose a greater danger than wooden bats, and that the anti-metal movement relies on emotional anecdotes over concrete data. Some have said they plan to challenge the matter in court.
In 2005, an American Legion Baseball study found no substantial scientific proof to support the argument that wooden bats are safer than metal bats.