First and foremost, the following article contains a video and description of a violent collision between two Memphis Redbird players. Discretion is advised.
On April 16, 2011, the Memphis Redbirds were set to square off with the Iowa Cubs. An uneventful top of the first gave way to the Redbirds taking the field. On the third pitch of the game there came a delay. There was no rain or weather related issues. The crowd and the rest of the fans watching the game were reminded that baseball is, in fact, a dangerous game.
The video below shows a Texas League blooper to shallow left center field. Both outfielders were giving chase and, while running at full speed, collided:
You can view the raw, fan shot video by clicking here.
The game was delayed for a total of thirteen minutes as trainers and staff attended to both players. Both players would get to their feet and leave on separate carts as friend and I-70 contributor Bob Netherton recounted here.
Today, via Twitter, the Memphis Redbirds updated everyone on the status of the two outfielders (click the link for the full update).
According to that information, it appears that Andrew Brown may recover soon and will most likely battle with concussion symptoms. Shane Robinson will have a much longer road to recovery as his injuries and subsequent surgery would suggest that there is much more concern about the person and his livelihood than the player and his career. The injury to the orbital bone is similar, though not being projected as being as severe, to the injury that ended Juan Encarnacion’s career (read more about that incident here).
The staff here at I-70 sends thoughts and prayers to the players and their families and we all hope for a complete and speedy recovery.
Baseball is a fundamental sport. For those of you with children and those that are interested in the game, take note of a few fundamental things that should be happening.
The play happens fast and it is quite possible that neither player “called” for the ball as they were both not completely sure they would be able to make the catch. That being said, the distance the center fielder had to run should have led him to believe that he would take a less direct route and circle around behind the left fielder in order to “back him up”. In addition, it is common practice, especially during games with sunlight interference, that infielders would point to the ball in the air and assist with communication. The shortstop does not drift far enough out to be heard clearly, does not point at the ball, and should be calling “left” or “center” to help identify to the outfield who has a better line on the ball.
Communication and fundamentals, while taken for granted, are essential parts of the game. By no means am I blaming the various players involved for the injuries that occurred. I am simply using this play as an example to show our young players what can happen when the fundamentals are not followed.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.