We finished off earlier in the week about the chance for me to play NCAA Baseball that was foiled by knee problems and concussions. Looking at reconstructive knee surgery in late 1994, I was seeking a second and third opinion on the matter. If you have to read that blog to catch up it is available right here.
On a night in Sept of that year I was in the wrong place at the wrong time helping a friend move. I was a victim of a serious home invasion. It was truly a life or death situation at points. It ended with all of receiving baseball bats to the back of the head before they left.
In the minutes after it was over, I was on an adrenaline rush, so I never realized how much damage had been done with the impact. I did go to the hospital that night, but we never wanted to divulge that much information about what happened to us. I was given some painkillers, and I passed a quick eyeball test with the doctor in the emergency room.
I stayed up for almost 2 days straight. Previous head injuries had told me not to sleep that much if all. I drank alcohol and took painkillers. at will.
When I went to work 3 days later, I knew I was in trouble. I started having vision problems and felt nauseous. Within 3 months – I stopped working entirely and didn’t want to leave the house at all. I never went to my knee appointments, as I had gone through similar symptoms with my brain after a concussion at 16. Worse part of the whole ordeal, was not demanding a CT scan on the night of the incident. Read the rest of this entry
When I was a kid I wanted to be baseball player for the New York Yankees. Don Mattingly was my favorite hitter. Funny saying this as a Canadian, where our national pastime is hockey. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that sport too.. Just not as much as baseball.
My mom was talking me to my dad’s fastball league games when I was in a stroller in the late 1970’s.
By the time I was 3, my 2 older brothers were already playing baseball and I was hooked. It wasn’t too long after that I was joining them in practice.
For the next 16 years I ate, lived and breathed the sport. Some real life issues popped up, and I never recovered from injuries sustained growing up. I still can’t play recreational baseball because of a deep concussion history. I turned my back on the sport live in late 1996, never coming back until 2005. Now I am about to go my 4th epic journey to all 30 MLB Parks in the last 7 years.
This season, I will be live for a game every day all year. So how does one come to this lifestyle and crazy fandomness? We must go back in time…..
From Ages 10 – 15, I would hit baseballs to my dog every day. He was an English Springer Spaniel named Patches, and he was the quickest outfielder of ALL-Time, and handy when no one else wanted to play ball in the rainy winter months in Vancouver B.C, Canada. All I had to do was to bring a towel to wipe the slobber off of the baseballs.
I caught for 10 years, and loved the position as I could lead from the backstop of the diamond. At 9 years old, I began to umpire baseball games like my father. Read the rest of this entry
Wedesday August 22, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer) Follow @chuckbooth3024 Pitching is the most unnatural motion I can think of. The human arm is not meant to throw 90-100 MPH repeatedly over and over. It is for this reason why I am never surprised when Pitchers go out for any injury. When I was 15, I was the catcher for former Major League Pitcher Chris Reitsma on our ALL-Star Team. I witnessed this kid throwing 90 MPH as a teenager. Honestly, no one could hit the guy. As a catcher for 10 years and having a a decent baseball IQ, I was mad that the coach never let me call his pitches for him. Why he would even throw sliders, curves and breaking balls is beyond me and it cost us some games versus some California and Arizona teams. There was no denying that he was a mega talented pitcher. He did go onto a decent MLB career, even appeared in 84 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2004. Yet he finished pitching by the age of 29 because he threw junk. Now I will move on here, I am just pointing out that kids should not be throwing junk until they are finished high school. There will be time in future articles to talk about pitching discipline and attitude.
Just like the hitters that I featured last week, the pitchers I am featuring here took the MLB by storm for a while. The fan bases were certain that these players would have great careers, only to see them fade quickly. If you ask me which position is tougher to stay up on top of, I would definitely say pitching! Remember that if you fail 70% of the time as a hitter, you are still labeled a great hitter. Pitchers have to have a success rate of 75% to be elite. Plus when they are out there, it is a continual one after another moment, whereas a hitter has a chance to regroup after an AT BAT.
This set of 5 pitchers (Mark Fidrych, Mark Prior, Jeff Zimmerman, Tommy Greene and Derrick Turnbow) in this list are all pretty much of recent vintage. I saw 4 of them play as I only started watching baseball in 1980 and Mark Fidrych was already done by that time. This doesn’t mean that I have not seen countless highlights from the man in the last 30 years. Here are a couple for your enjoyment before we start.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My name is Chuck Booth, and I am a baseball addict! I can try therapy all I want to, the addiction is too strong to ignore. It all started when I was an infant. My mom wheeled me in my stroller to watch my dad play windmill fastball tournaments on the weekends. She said that I watched intently and was quiet the whole time. Then I grew to a preschool kid and would play on both of my older brother’s baseball teams in addition to my own team. When I turned 9 years old, my dad was the Umpire In Chief for our town’s local Little League Baseball Association. As the top umpire, he proposed that they should build a concession stand at the main little league parks, then use the profits to pay kids to be umpires themselves. So I became a certified little league umpire by studying the rulebook for days and passing the test. Read the rest of this entry