WICHITA, Kansas (KSN) – The 9-year-old bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays has passed away after he was accidentally hit in the head by a bat swung by a Bee Jay’s player on Saturday.
In a Facebook post, the Liberal Bee Jays released this statement Sunday night:
With the permission of the family, and with much sorrow and a very broken heart, I regretfully inform everyone that Kaiser Carlile passed away earlier this evening. Please keep his family and our team in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for the support during this ordeal!”
According to witness Jim Parks, the incident took place after one of the Bee Jay’s batters had struck out and the batter on deck was taking practice swings.
Parks said Kaiser Carlile, the bat boy and a Bee Jays superfan, was running to pick up a bat on the ground when the on-deck batter took a practice swing and accidentally hit the boy in the head.
“He was swinging, and it hit him in the helmet, knocked him down, he got back up, but he went right back down again,” said Parks.
Luckily, EMS crews were close by, already helping Janice Van Dyke, who was having a dizzy spell. EMT’s were checking her vitals.He was taken by EMS crews at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to a Via Christi St. Francis hospital in critical condition.“Over the speakers came a child had been hit at the ballpark, the one lady working on me finished working on me while the other one grabbed her defibrillator and her oxygen and ran out of the ambulance,” said Van Dyke.
Van Dyke says it was a blessing emergency crews were so close, able to get to Kaiser’s aid right away.
“They were here for me, and I’m fine but being on the property made them able to get to that boy sooner,” said Van Dyke.
The Bee Jays are in Wichita for the NBC World Series tournament.
On Monday, the National Baseball Congress World Series Tournament Director Kevin Jenks said that anyone under 18 will not be allowed to be a bat boy or bat girl during the of the World Series. The NBC also released this statement:
The National Baseball Congress has experienced tragedy many times in 84 years, however, it’s difficult to remember a day that is darker than this one. On Sunday, we lost a member of our family and it will hurt for a very long time. With heavy hearts, we send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the Carlile family and Bee Jays organization. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and this accident certainly is a memorable example. Kaiser was simply doing something he loved. He was simply doing a job most kids across America dream of having for one night or multiple summers. That’s the part that makes us all wonder “why” and while it may never be answered, now is the time to support the city of Liberal, the BJ’s organization and Kaiser’s family. The NBC and the NBC World Series looks forward to honoring Kaiser in the near future. During this tragic and emotional time, may God bless Kaiser and his baseball family.
The Liberal Bee Jays have also set up a page to raise funds for Kaiser’s family. Find it by clicking here.