Should metal bats be banned?

CHICAGO Alderman Robert Fioretti, 2nd Ward, wants to ban the use of metal baseball bats by youths involved in any organized baseball games in Chicago public schools or at Chicago Park District sites.

He will introduce the new proposal to the Chicago City Council on Wednesday.

Fioretti believes metal bats are more dangerous than wood ones. Christina Russo, whose son suffered severe facial damage when he was struck by a baseball hit by a metal bat, agrees. She also supports the proposal.

A similar ordinance was passed earlier this year by the New York City Council and upheld by the New York Appellate Court.

The debate over whether metal bats are more dangerous than wood bats is nothing new. First introduced in 1974, metal bats are the standard for amateur players. They are known for needing less strength to hit the ball far- and hard.

A Consumer Product Safety Commission found in 2001 there were 17 deaths due to impact with a ball. Of those, 8 of the balls were hit with metal bats and two were hit with wood bats. The make of the bats in the other cases is not known.

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