Baseball is a game filled with plenty of contact, but it’s mainly between balls, bats and gloves. Clearly, this is unlike football where the players are smashing, running and slamming into each other every single play of the game.
It’s crazy how in less than a second a swing in baseball has power to do some serious damage to a player. Even more than a couple hard-knocks in football will do to you.
It starts off as it has for over 100 years, a beautiful work-of-art so to speak. The pitcher winds, delivers, and the batter loads up his swing. This is where it gets scary. The batter lines the pitch directly at the pitcher, and it ricochets right off the pitchers head as he finishes his delivery. No time to react, and very little can be done to avoid the screaming liner. The batter runs, because that’s just what you do, but the pitcher is down in a heap. Sometimes writhing in pain, and something not moving at all. Knocked out cold. The players, managers, and trainers rush to the man down. Everyone takes a knee, prays, and hopes for the best.
The most recent victim of this terrible occurrence is Cincinnati’s closer, Aroldis Chapman. Now we all know of Chapman’s speedy heater from his altercation with our own Nick Swisher last season. His ball gets to the plate FAST. Now I’m no physics expert, but I believe that the harder the ball is thrown, the harder the ball will return if struck by the bat.
With all of that being said, in the 6th inning of the Reds spring training affair with the Royals, catcher Salvador Perez swung and lined the ball right at Chapman’s head. The ball struck just over his left eye, causing a fracture. Doctors say he was very lucky.
In recent memory, this terrifying play has happened to a member of our own Cleveland Indians back in May of 2010. Remember David Huff? It was a line drive off of Yankee’s steroid-using slugger Alex Rodriguez that slammed into Huff’s head, deflecting all the way into RIGHT FIELD.
Baseball, like any sport, is very competitive. Yet when a moment like that occurs, we are all on the same team. Together, we hope that our prayers are answer, and the injured player does not sustain any long-term damage.