Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

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Ah, the "baseball rule," one of those little legal quirks that tends to favor Major League Baseball teams by prohibiting lawsuits from fans injured by foul balls or even flying bats. The rule is based on the idea that fans have assumed the risk of such incidents by attending games at sitting close to the action, with ticket stubs often bearing legally foreboding language like: "By attending the baseball game ("Game"), the ticket holder ("Holder") assumes all risk and danger incidental to the Game ... including, but not limited to, the danger of being injured by equipment, objects or persons entering spectator areas."

These warnings, coupled with the baseball rule, often kept injured fans out of court if they tried to hold teams or players liable for equipment or objects "entering spectator areas." But that era may be coming to a close, as one woman's lawsuit against the Red Sox is proving.

When a coach tells you what to do during a game, you tend to do it. Especially when you're rounding second on a ball lined into the outfield and your third base coach tells you to slide. But when that slide turns into a rolled ankle and permanent injury, is the coach to blame?

A former JV baseball player is suing his coach for exactly that, claiming the game in which he was injured was "negligently" and "carelessly" supervised. His lawsuit was originally tossed out for failing to plead "recklessness," but has been revived on appeal.

Minor League Baseball Players to Lose Minimum Wage

When you think of baseball players, you think of the famous ones, the ones on your favorite team, the ones who made baseball history. But you rarely think of the little guys -- those still in the minors, hustling and struggling to make it to the big league. These are the players at the center of both a class action lawsuit and recent legislation exempting them from minimum wage law protection.

Former MLB Pitcher Wins $2.3M Jury Award for Hand Injury

Chances are, if you break your hand, it's probably not a million-dollar injury. On the other hand (pun intended), if you're a Major-League Baseball pitcher, it could be worth a lot more than that. One jury in California has decided that a former MLB pitcher deserves a $2.3 million award after he broke his hand during a dangerous -- and odd -- altercation with a stranger.

Former MLB Player Sues ESPN for Defamation

If you want to see Major League Baseball and deer antler velvet talked about in the same sentence, you should read about the former MLB player who is suing ESPN, The AP, and USA Today for defamation. Neiman Nix, who once played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers, filed a complaint against the news organizations for reporting that he and his company marketed and sold banned performance enhancing substances to baseball players.

Fortunately for me, my not-so-illustrious baseball career ended long before being forced to stand in the batter's box while coaches hurled balls at my hip and rib cage, in order to teach me "muscle memory to avoid potential injuries in an actual game." Getting hit with a baseball, even a training ball that is supposedly lightweight and soft, is not a pleasant experience.

Not so pleasant that a mom whose son participated in the drill reported the coaches to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and the Knox County Sheriff's Office. But after an investigation found no wrongdoing, the coaches have turned the table, suing the mother for defamation, false light, outrageous conduct, and intentional interference with economic advantage.

The battle between Pete Rose, best known for having the most hits all-time in baseball and also being banned from the sport, and John Dowd, best known for preparing the report that got Rose banned, continues, and continues to get ugly. In court documents obtained by ESPN, Rose allegedly had a sexual relationship with a woman for several years in the 1970s that began before she turned 16.

The woman's affidavit is part of a defamation lawsuit filed by Rose against Dowd, who claimed in a 2015 radio interview that the former Cincinnati Reds great had underage girls delivered to him at spring training.

It's possible that Joshua Hanshaw was just a fan looking for some souvenirs when he broke into Appalachian Power Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league affiliate, the West Virginia Power. After all, Hanshaw is wearing hitting coach Ryan Long's jersey in his mug shot following his arrest.

But that probably wasn't the case, as the reportedly homeless Hanshaw looted the Power's locker room for almost $4,000 worth of players' personal items like sunglasses, shoes, and toiletries that had been pre-packed for the team's upcoming road trip. Oh, and the jersey, too.

It's not often that stadium security has to eject a fan. And a fan would need to work pretty hard to get banned for life from a stadium. Well, dropping a racial slur, then confirming the slur to neighboring fans, just one night after other fans in the stadium made national news for racially abusing a visiting player is hard work enough to get banned for life.

Such was the fate of one Boston Red Sox fan, who was ejected, then banned for life from Fenway Park earlier this month after making a racist remark about a Kenyan woman who had just finished singing the national anthem.

We often use sports as an escape from real life. And every now and then, real life intrudes into the games. That's what happened when a stray bullet found its way into Busch Stadium Tuesday night, grazing a female fan's arm and came to a stop underneath her seat.

Thankfully, the woman was not seriously injured, and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has already retained the services of an attorney.