Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Nothing really says summer like baseball. When I think about summer and baseball I think of green grassy field, warm sunshine and the crack of a good hit. In my mind baseball stands for all the good things about summer, friendly competition, exercise, hanging out with people you care about watching or playing a game. This morning I am having a little trouble reconciling my general benevolent view of baseball with a recent event that has been reported in the Times Picayune: "Ex- Zephyr killed by foul ball".

New Orleans does not have a professional baseball team. Instead they have the Zephyrs, the local triple-A minor team. Colin and I have not yet gotten around to going to games, but Colin has begun checking the scores every day in the sports section (a true sign of growing sports team loyalty). The article I mentioned above describes how this weekend a former player of the Zephyrs (turned coach to a double A team, the Tulsa Drillers) was killed by an errant baseball.

"Mike Coolbaugh, 35, died Sunday after being struck in the head by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a game in Arkansas."

Obviously I did not know this guy, and yet I still feel sadness. I guess mostly my reaction is surprise and shock. You can be killed by a baseball? Somehow this had never occurred to me. I can think of a dozen sports which I associate with major injures and death, and baseball had not been one of them. I always thought that the worst that could happen while playing stickball was a torn groin muscle. Baseball, that American icon, up on the list with apple pie, seems a lot less innocent to me today.


Blogger Dean W. Armstrong said...

I watched a Zephyrs game once, long ago, when they were still in Denver and played in the convertible Mile High Stadium.

July 24, 2007 at 12:55 PM  

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