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A line drive to the hospital: Pitching, head injuries and the risks of America’s pastime

Posted: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Usually sports make us feel excitement or disappointment or relief, but rare are the moments that sports bring out one of the most base of human emotions: fear. Few moments in sports bring that fear out like a baseball pitcher getting hit in the head.

Last week, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ took a line drive in the head from Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings in the second inning of their game in Tampa. On replay, you could hear the sound of the ball coming off of the left side of Happ’s head as clearly and distinctly as the sound of it coming off Jennings’ bat. In slow motion, it’s clear that Happ is trying to react to get his glove up to deflect the ball, traveling at more than 100 mph, but by the time you see him move to protect himself, it’s way past too late to do anything about it.

For the complete article see the 05-15-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-15-2013 paper.

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