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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - Page updated at 05:10 PM

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Umpire out of hospital after being hit with bat

Umpire Brian O'Nora was released from the hospital Wednesday after sustaining a mild concussion and a cut on his forehead when he was hit by a broken maple bat the previous night.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —

Umpire Brian O'Nora was released from the hospital Wednesday after sustaining a mild concussion and a cut on his forehead when he was hit by a broken maple bat the previous night.

O'Nora was behind the plate for a game between Colorado and Kansas City when Miguel Olivo's bat shattered on a groundout to shortstop in the bottom of the second inning.

The barrel of Olivo's bat whipped around and struck O'Nora in the head. With blood pouring down his face, the umpire rushed to Kansas City's dugout, where Jose Guillen quickly covered O'Nora's head with a towel.

O'Nora came out of the game and was treated by Royals trainer Nick Swartz before being taken to St. Luke's Hospital. A Royals spokesman said no stitches were required to close the cut.

The 45-year-old O'Nora has been a major league umpire since 1999. Minor league ump Mike Muchlinski replaced him on the crew Wednesday night for the Rockies-Royals game.

After the Royals' 7-3 victory Tuesday, Olivo confirmed that the shattered bat that struck O'Nora was made of maple. The Kansas City designated hitter said he switched to an ash bat for the rest of the game.

The frightening scene came only hours after a player-management safety committee discussed the potential danger of maple bats at its first meeting. Following the session, baseball said it will start testing bats, but the sport made no decision on the contentious issue of banning maple models.

Some say maple bats splinter with greater force than those made of ash, and commissioner Bud Selig said last month that shattering maple bats are "a source of concern for me."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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