Catcher says attack ended his career

Updated: February 12, 2009, 12:52 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Former All-Star Jose Offerman was sued Thursday in the case of a bat-wielding attack at a minor league game that injured two opposing players.

Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans is seeking $4.8 million in damages, saying the attack left him with permanent injuries that ended his career.

Offerman was batting for the Long Island Ducks against the Bluefish in Bridgeport on Aug. 14, 2007, when pitcher Matt Beech hit him with a fastball. Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking Beech and Nathans.

An All-Star infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 and Boston Red Sox in 1999, Offerman had faced up to 10 years in prison on two felony assault charges. He was granted probation in 2007, ordered to get anger management treatment and pay the medical expenses of Beech and Nathans.

Nathans said he was hit in the head with Offerman's bat, causing a concussion, inner ear damage, vertigo, headaches and post-concussion syndrome.

"I have tons of headaches every day, vomiting every week," Nathan said. There's not a day that I don't have symptoms. There's days I'm completely debilitated."

Offerman's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said he hasn't seen the lawsuit.

"All options will be weighed at the time we receive the suit," he said.

A call was left with the team seeking comment Thursday.

Offerman was playing for the Ducks in an attempt to return to the majors. The Atlantic League suspended Offerman indefinitely after the altercation and he apologized.

The middle finger on Beech's non-throwing hand was broken during the scuffle. Beech was fined and suspended by the league.

Offerman last played in the majors in 2005 with the New York Mets. He batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the majors.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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