New York City has completely gone off the deep end. Its city council has done virtually nothing of note except look for new and interesting things to ban. The latest victim of the city’s rulers’ hatred of freedom is the common aluminum baseball bat. The city council voted Wednesday to ban the baseball bats, with enough votes to override a veto which had been promised by mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Councilors who voted for the measure painted it as a safety issue.
But opponents said that aside from anecdotal evidence, there was no actual scientific evidence that aluminum bats were any more dangerous than wooden bats.
Most interesting was how this proposal divided major league baseball players, with many voicing their support, and many others opposing the ban.
The measure bans the use of aluminum bats in high school baseball games. It was significantly narrowed from a previous measure also brought by freedom-hater James S. Oddo (R-Staten Island) which would have banned aluminum bats from virtually any baseball game anywhere in the city.
“I know this is not the most pressing issue on the minds of New Yorkers,” Mr. Oddo said shortly before the vote, “but I really believe in this bill. There is risk in all sports, and there is risk in baseball playing with a wooden bat, but when the risk becomes unreasonable, people have to act.”
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who rallied support for the measure among council members, added, “We think this is an appropriate safety step for us to protect our high school athletes.”
The bill passed by 40-6 with two abstentions. It would need 34 votes, two-thirds of the 51 members on the council, to override a veto.
Speaking before today’s vote, Mayor Bloomberg declined to say whether he would oppose the legislation.
“I have been called by professional baseball players, who are friends of mine, on both sides of the issue and I’ll look at the data and try to decide whether or not it’s an appropriate thing for the city to do, to get involved, and if so, what the science says,” Mr. Bloomberg said. — New York Times
Apparently, balls fly off aluminum bats faster than off wooden bats and kill unsuspecting children, or so critics of aluminum bats say.
Opponents of the bill, who included not only industry groups but Little League, say that’s preposterous.
“This unnecessary legislation clearly was not supported by factual data, and will ultimately harm the baseball programs of the city’s high schools,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said in a statement after the vote.
“This is not a safety issue,” said Jim Darby, spokesman for Easton Sports, a leading bat maker based in Van Nuys, Calif. He added that his company and the industry would “look at all the different options out there” to block the legislation, including possible legal action.
In a statement after the vote, Mr. Darby added: “We are obviously disappointed with today’s vote, but we applaud the council members who recognized the facts and voted against this wrongheaded bill. We are hopeful that Mayor Bloomberg will also recognize that this ban will neither enhance safety nor improve the game of baseball and veto this bill.” — Ibid.
Little League players will still be able to use aluminum bats under the narrowed ban to develop their batting skills, which is more difficult with the heavier wooden bats.
What will New York City ban next?