Kelsey Osburn, age 20, died after being struck in the side of the head by a line-drive baseball during a practice game with teammates.

Osburn, a Tucson native, was playing for the Newark Raptors of the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League when the accident happened. He was standing by the third base line at the time of the accident and was apparently not wearing a batting helmet when he was struck.

He suffered severe brain trauma and massive internal bleeding as a result of the impact.

Osborn was airlifted from the practice field in Newark, NY to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where doctors performed emergency brain surgery in an attempt to save his life. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful as Osborn never regained consciousness.

“Kelsey has valiantly fought to stay with us, but the strength of his athletic body has not been enough to overcome the devastating injury to his brain,” and Osburn family press release stated. “Although 20 years was not long enough to have had him, we are grateful for the quality of his life and for the unqualified love we will always feel for him and from him.” 

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the Osburn family has established the Kelsey Osburn Memorial Player Fund. Gifts in recognition of Osburn’s life can be sent to the athletic department’s development office at P.O. Box 210096, Tucson, AZ 85721. Checks should be made payable to the UA Foundation/Kelsey Osburn Memorial Fund.

This could have happened to any of the athletes playing that day. The speed, skill, and power of athletes today is so intense that in the blink of an eye, someone could get seriously injured, and even killed, by a line-drive baseball without a moment to even react.

Direct and glancing blows from high-velocity projectiles are a very real danger in the sport today. And as the skill of athletes and the technology of the equipment they use improves, so might the frequency of these injuries. Ball Cap Liner is there to react for the players in these situations. It is designed to prevent, and at the very least lessen, serious injury, so families and teams do not have to go through such heartache.

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