Good evening from windy and chilly Central Texas; wanted to post an article of that was in the Internet Baseball Writers of America. Thanks much for Dan Schlossberg for the kind words. Hope you guys enjoy the read.
New Book Shows Ballplayers Get Banged Up In Ridiculous Ways By Dan Schlossberg
David Letterman had his Stupid Pet Tricks and Major League Baseball has its stupid injury list. When Cody Bellinger banged the home run that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the lead they would not relinquish in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series, he also banged up his shoulder so badly that it needed surgical repair. Before Bellinger could find his seat in the Dodger dugout, celebrating teammate Kike Hernandez slammed into him so hard that he dislocated the slugger’s shoulder. Dodger doctors popped it back into place, allowing him to finish the game and the six-game World Series, but Bellinger submitted to surgery earlier this month and will be on the mend for the next 10 weeks !!!That mishap happened too late to be included in Dave Berger’s new book, Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Comical and Freakish Injuries We Cannot Make Up.
Conceived in July and published in October, this $16.99 paperback is cleverly divided into team-by-team sections, each of them listing specific players and incidents. Details on each player are published too, giving the reader such data as player, name, position, stats, status, plus place and description of the accident that prompted publication in book form. For example, the page for Scooter Gennett (love that name) says he played for three teams, once hit four home runs in a game, and joined Babe Ruth as the only men to pitch an inning and hit his 20th home run of the season in the same contest. But it also says Gennett landed on the 15-day disabled list (now called injured list) by scraping his knuckle so badly while showering that he needed stitches.
Each incident is named too. Nolan Ryan’s, called Wily Coyote, occurred at his Alvin, Tex. home in 1985. The future Hall of Famer went out to his dog pen, discovered two coyote pups, and decided to take them home. But one of them didn’t like that idea and bit him on his pitching hand. After undergoing tests for rabies – and missing a start as the result of the bite — Ryan gave the pups away. Tom Glavine, another Hall of Famer who won 300 games, is also included in Berger’s book. He got so sick after eating on the team airplane that he broke a rib because of severe vomiting. Only a painkiller kept the lefty from missing a start. Mike Remlinger, who also pitched for the Braves, made the book for an incident that occurred with the Cubs. While relaxing on a reclining chair, he pinched a finger on his pitching hand in another chair – landing on the disabled list. According to Dave Berger, he was pitching so poorly at the time that Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone suggested on-air that slumping pitchers should sit in Remlinger’s chair deliberately!
Nobody would have heard of Todd Bozied if not for his stupid injury. He hit a game-winning grand slam in the minors on July 29, pounced on home plate, and ruptured his patellar tendon –- knocking him out for the season. Kendrys Morales did much the same thing in the majors. He hit a 10th-inning grand slam to win a game on May 29, 2010, then jumped up as he saw a crowd of celebrating teammates at home plate. He somehow broke his leg in the jam-up, costing him most of the 2010 season and all of 2011. Arguably the best story in Berger’s book concerns a long-forgotten Red Sox pitcher named Clarence Blethen. He won 257 games in the minors but got a shot with the Sox in 1923. On September 21, he decided it might a good idea for him to take out his dentures and put them in his pants pocket. All he wanted to do was look meaner to opposing hitters. Without a DH, however, Blethen had to bat. He stroked a surprise base-hit but tried to stretch it into a double. Bad idea: the dentures took such a huge bite out of his butt that he was removed from the game for “excessive bleeding.” P.S. That was the only time he reached base in his big-league career!
Few fans will remember Michael Morse either. A fringe major-leaguer, he ran in to join a brawl when he crashed into San Francisco teammate Jeff Samardzija. He landed on the concussion list and went straight to oblivion without passing GO, never playing in the majors again. There’s so much more: Bob Feller scalding himself with 200-degree water, Ron Bryant placing his career in jeopardy with an ill-advised dive into a swimming pool, Jake Peavy cutting his hand on a fishing knife, and Francisco Liriano blowing an $11 million contract by slamming his shoulder into a door while trying to surprise his kids on Christmas. Players fell down dugout stairs, got their legs entangled during arguments, got hurt shoveling snow, suffered dirt bike mishaps, and pulled muscles while carrying their own bags. You name it, you’ll find it here. Rickey Henderson reached the Hall of Fame as the holder of single-season and lifetime records for stolen bases but he’s also in this Hall of Laughter for getting frost-bite in August: he fell asleep while icing his valuable foot. The always-unpredictable Rickey missed three games. Reading Berger’s book is like watching a silent film made by Charlie Chaplin – it’s funny, often hilarious, and always based on the theory that an event that seems like tragedy if it happens to you is often considered comedy if it happens to someone else. At any rate, it’s good to see the Grand Old Game, taken too seriously by too many, lighten up a little.