A nine-year-old boy died this weekend after a player’s swinging bat struck him in the head during a National Baseball Congress World Series game in Wichita, Kansas.
Kaiser Carlile, who served as bat boy for the Liberal (Kansas) Bee Jays wore a helmet, but the bat’s blow proved too much on Saturday, causing severe head trauma. A player swinging his bat in the on-deck circle hit the boy, who had obliviously wandered near the player. Carlile died on Sunday at Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital.
Mark Goldfeder, the home plate umpire happened to be a paramedic and treated Kaiser until other paramedics arrived and carried the boy to the hospital, reported Yahoo Sports.
“This is a 9-year-old kid, small in stature, who just wanted to be one of the guys,” said Kaiser’s uncle Mike Carlile, the Bee Jays’ general manager. “Kaiser can’t wait to get to the ballpark every day. Watching him interact with the guys on the team is comical. They kid each other, gig each other.… Kaiser and our head coach (Adam Anderson) were very tight. It was special. This is just a crappy deal.”
The team gathered in the outfield after the incident and prayed for Kaiser. They decided to continue play concluding that Kaiser would have wanted it that way, according to Bob Lutz of the Wichita Eagle.
The Bee Jays went on to beat a San Diego team in extra innings and advanced further on Sunday with a 8-0 shutout victory.
The Liberal Bee Jays kneel in prayer after discovering the tragic news of Kaiser Carlile’s passing after the game. pic.twitter.com/OEMrHXiQrU
— Taylor Eldridge (@teldridge24) August 3, 2015
A grieving Bee Jays player later posted his thoughts on Instagram:
Kaiser, you were a little brother I never had. You took the field with us every game this summer. You were, and always will be a Bee Jay. No person or team could ask for a better bat boy. It is terrible to see you leave in such a way, but knowing your last moments were on the baseball field makes it easier through this whole process, because you were doing what you loved. It hurts to see someone so young and with so much heart pass like you did, but you are now in God’s hands, and being the bat boy for the angels up above. We all love you, and you will be greatly missed. R.I.P. Kaiser Carlile.
Both Kaiser’s parents and the parents of the unidentified player who struck Kaiser attended the Bee Jays game Sunday night.