The long and agonizing legal journey of Anthony Molina is over.
The former Moline resident, severely injured in a much-publicized 1999 beanball incident, has decided not to pursue further litigation after his federal suit against Wichita State University baseball coaches Gene Stephenson and Brent Kemnitz was dismissed.
The United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled last month that it had no jurisdiction over the case.
"Although we weren't surprised at the ruling, we feel it is unfortunate that the conduct of these coaches was never examined by a jury after a trial," said Rand Wonio, Molina's Davenport-based attorney.
"Although we believe the ruling was erroneous and inconsistent with past rulings of the 10th Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, Anthony does not wish to ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling."
Molina, playing for Evansville University, was standing approximately 24 feet from home plate prior to an April 23, 1999, game with Wichita State when pitcher Ben Christensen threw a warm-up pitch in his direction. The throw struck Molina below the left eye, fracturing several bones and permanently impairing his vision.
The incident attracted nationwide publicity. It ended Christensen's college career and prevented Molina from pursuing a professional career.
Molina's lawsuit against Christensen, now a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs farm system, was settled out of court earlier this year. Although the amount of the settlement was not disclosed, it has been reported to be $400,000.
Molina had continued to pursue legal action against Stephenson, Wichita State's head coach, and Kemnitz, the pitching coach who allegedly ordered his prot'e9g'e9s to throw at on-deck batters if they appeared to be trying to time warm-up pitches.
Molina, now an assistant baseball coach at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Ill., admitted in a recent interview with the Wichita Eagle that he remains unsatisfied with what has taken place. However, he said he sees no point in pursuing the matter any further.
"If we felt we had a legitimate shot, we would have went for it," he said. "I just wanted justice in some way, and I still don't feel like that's happened. But all I can do now is move on."
Don Doxsie can be contacted at (563) 383-2289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.