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Home-plate collision is most dangerous baserunning play in MLB: study

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Winston-Salem, NC – Baserunning injuries in professional baseball occur most frequently during tag plays at home plate, concludes a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The study compared injuries from three types of plays – tags at home plate, double-play attempts in the infield, and tags at second or third base after a throw from the outfield – during Major League Baseball games from 2002 to 2011. The injury rate for tag plays at home plate was 4.3 times higher than the tag plays at second or third base (which served as the control). Double-play attempts were statistically even with the control, according to a press release.

To reduce collisions at home plate, researchers suggested prohibiting defensive players, including catchers, from blocking the base. MLB has proposed a ban on home-plate collisions, but the proposal has not yet been voted on by players and umpires.

The study was published online in January in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.