Alright, both of these incidents happened in Arizona during early Cactus League practices and not in Los Angeles but they did happen to a former Dodger and a current Angel ….
There’s a slightly disturbing trend happening to players of Los Angeles Major League Baseball teams. Two players, one former and one current, have been hit in the head with line drives in the last four days. One has to wonder who’s next since things seem to happen in threes.
It’s a scary thought, getting hit in the head with a line drive. A ball moving that fast and hitting you in the right place can very possibly kill you. That means Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax and Angels’ pitcher CJ Wilson are both extremely lucky men. Both were struck in the head with a line drive during batting practice. Both, while still requiring medical attention, walked off the field on their own.
On Saturday at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ training camp in Glendale, AZ Koufax was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Andre Ethier while watching pitching prospect Ross Stripling. Koufax, 78, maintained his footing but suffered a cut to the forehead. He was, however, immediately carted off by the team’s trainers in a golf cart and immediately tended to by the medical staff. The HOF pitcher seemed to take it in stride being seen later that day in the Dodgers’ clubhouse conversing with some of the players.
A mere four days later Angels’ starting pitcher CJ Wilson was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Yorvit Torreabla while throwing live batting practice. Wilson was knocked to the ground suffering a gash on his head. He, like Koufax, never lost conciousness and actually wanted to continue pitching. At the insistence of the team and medical staff he was taken to the hospital for a CT scan as a precaution. Wilson downplayed the incident later tweeting,
@str8edger8cer Everything is fine, except that pitch I threw. Shoulda caught it. Thanks for the #PMA – lesson is to not pitch to contact! Haha
- Image courtesy of Greg Flume/Getty Images
These kinds of injuries though should not be taken lightly though. In 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher Brandon McCarthy, then of the Oakland Athletics, was hit in the head with a line drive during a game. He was out for the rest of the season, underwent emergency surgery and experience a seizure last year. McCarthy’s misfortune sparked the approval of an optional padded cap for pitchers by MLB. However rare, the possibility of a serious injury is omnipresent.
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