Dustin Machado and his son Mason have a special love for the game. “We live, breathe, and eat baseball,” Dustin Machado said.
Which is why this father says what happened at Baseball USA in March was excruciating. Eleven-year-old Mason dove for a fly ball during pre-game warm-ups.
“I fell down and hit my leg on something and I didn’t know what it was,” he said.
He fell on a sharp metal edge protruding out of the ground and running along the perimeter of the outfield fence.
“It’s like a knife blade out there, like a machete sticking up,” Dustin Machado said.
“And I look out there and he’s down on the ground holding his knee and I pulled his pant leg back and there was this gash,” the father remembers.
In fact, Machado said that injury required 15 stitches, put Mason on the sidelines for six weeks, and gave him a scar for life.
“Baseball is his love, and will he ever get back to being the player he was?” said Machado.
But the Machado family says Baseball USA added “insult to injury.”
How? First, they claim the organization refused to apologize for the incident.
Then, after their attorney sent a letter seeking insurance information from the business, the family said Baseball USA banned their entire team from playing there in any more of the season’s tournaments.
“I was frustrated and furious,” Dustin Machado said.
“Absolutely shocked and floored.”
But they said that wasn’t the end of their problems. The family’s attorney Keith Fletcher said it appears Baseball USA’s insurance policy does not cover incidents involving practicing or playing baseball.
“What I’m concerned is the next young man who unfortunately lands, not on his knee, but what about his head or his face?” Fletcher said.
Baseball USA’s General Manager Chris Schulte declined to speak with the I-Team on camera, but said the facility has covered that ‘sharp edging’ with dirt.
But attorney Fletcher said that falls far short of a permanent fix.
“Just by pulling it up, how hard is this?” asks the lawyer. “It’s not rocket science.”
Schulte said he would send a written statement on behalf of the company. The I-Team has yet to receive it.