A Long Island community is mourning the loss of a Little League coach after a freak accident during batting warm-ups over the weekend. Richard Becher, 50, was pitching at the Baseball Heaven facility in Suffolk County when a 12-year-old connected and sent a line drive straight to Becher's head. He was knocked unconscious, at which point several bystanders performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, reports the New York Post. "He threw a pitch, the ball got hit, it was a line drive," Becher's brother-in-law told Newsday. "He was hit in the head. He dropped to the ground."
Becher had been taking standard precautions, throwing from behind a protective L-screen, but it's possible to stick your head out for a second and be hit, the president of Sachem Little League tells Newsday, adding that he'll consider requiring that coaches wear masks and helmets when they're on the field. "It's hard to believe this is not a nightmare," a friend says. "He passed away doing one of the things he loved doing, being on the baseball field coaching his son." (It's not the first time a Little League pitch has proved fatal.)