Milwaukee Brewers MVP candidate Christian Yelic literally rocked the boat during batting practice.
Last year’s National League MVP, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, was taking a round of batting practice at PNC Park home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was hitting some last minute balls before heading over to Cleveland for this year’s Home Run Derby which will be live on prime time Monday night. While Yelich was hitting absolute bombs, he hit one that made baseball and boating history.
On one particular shot, the ball went out of the park and smashed into the window of a boat that was floating peacefully in the Allegheny River. The police were immediately called after the incident, but the perpetrator Yelich was not arrested nor taking in for questioning. Teammate Ryan Braun stated, “That’s how legends are made.” Its true, these odd events that occur in sports hold a special place in our hearts and memories, the things legends are made of.
This is not the first time a home run ball has it a vehicle outside the park. Pirates catcher, Francisco Cervelli hit an absolute nuke in 2018 while facing the Cubs in a regular season game. Cervelli got a hold of one of Cole Hamels pitches which landed right onto the hood of a car, just missing the window. In 2016, minor league player Brandon Thomas was at bat with the bases loaded. Grand Slam home run! However, Thomas was shocked when he found out that the home run ball smashed the window of his own car. What are the odds of that happening?
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These stories are funny and amusing but there is a more serious side that involves the law and liability. Who is responsible for the damage that occurs when balls are hit out of the park?
Is it the player who hit the ball, but did not intentionally mean to hit or deal any damage of value. Is it the owner of the team? Or, is the person who owns the car or boat responsible because they assume a certain risk when coming to the ballpark?
Legal experts seem to think that since its the vehicle owner who should realize there is a risk of your vehicle being struck by a ball when parking near the stadium. Since there is no intent on the part of the player or the team, they would not be held legally responsible for the damage. The owner of the damaged vehicle is responsible and would need to file a claim with their own insurance to get the damaged repair, a small price for being part of history.
Yelich, who is seeded number one in the home run derby, is going to face Blue Jays rookie, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.in the first round. It surely will be an exciting night to watch the league’s best players hit home runs. Last year, Bryce Harper won the contest with an astonishing 45 home runs. Yelich will try to do the same, but unfortunately there won’t be any extra credit for breaking windows.