Two Fans in New York Sue Snyder for $2.3 Million in Bat-Throwing Incident

Associated Press

Two fans are suing Cory Snyder and the Cleveland Indians for $2.3 million, claiming the player acted recklessly when he threw his bat into the stands during an International League game May 29.

The lawsuit, filed by Dorothy E. Matteson and her granddaughter, Deborah A. Schirtz, names Snyder as a defendant along with the two teams he played for in 1986: the Triple-A Maine Guides and the Cleveland Indians.

Snyder, 23, threw his bat into the stands after making an out in a game against the Rochester Red Wings at Silver Stadium.

Matteson, 61, of Rochester, suffered a broken palate and damage to the soft tissue in the mouth, and required 19 stitches to close those cuts. Schirtz, 26, of Henrietta, suffered a broken nose.

Snyder, a standout at Canyon High and BYU before being drafted by the Indians, was unavailable for comment Wednesday. His mother, Peggy Snyder of Camarillo, said her son is outraged that the incident has gone this far.


“He’s very upset about the whole thing,” she said. “He doesn’t like the way the two women are claiming he deliberately threw it at them. He said, ‘I would never do that.’ ”

The lawsuit does not claim Snyder threw the bat at the women deliberately, but that he threw it “carelessly and negligently.”

Snyder’s mother called both the criminal charges and civil action against her son ridiculous.

“I know I’ve seen it through all the World Series games--players flinging their bat out of anger and rage,” Peggy Snyder said. “Just holding one person responsible is wrong. It’s wrong to be taking it out on my son.”

Cory Snyder has said he threw the bat out of frustration because he was then mired in a hitting slump. He has also said the bat stuck in his hand as he threw it.

Peggy Snyder also said that fans go into a ballpark at their own risk of being hit by a ball or bat, and that the teams should be the only ones responsible for any injuries.

George G. Mackey, a Rochester lawyer representing Snyder and the Guides in the lawsuit, would not comment on the case.

Snyder was promoted to the Indians shortly after the bat-throwing incident.