Pitch Kills Ariz. Little Leaguer

'The epitome of what every little boy ought to be'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2011 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Thirteen-year-old Little Leaguer Hayden Walton stepped up to the plate, tried to bunt, and died in a freak accident that's rocked his northern Arizona community, reports the AP. "He took an inside pitch right in the chest," says a Winslow Little League official. "After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed." Hayden, a Boy Scout who mowed lawns for widows in his neighborhood, died the next morning in a hospital.

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The local league suspended games temporarily and offered up counselors. Stephen Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball, called "the loss of a child is incomprehensible" in a statement. "Words cannot adequately express our sorrow on the passing of Hayden," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hayden's family, all the players and volunteers of the Winslow Little League, his classmates, and his friends, at this difficult time." (Read more Little League stories.)

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