A story I want to bring up takes place back in 2008. The Mets acquired outfielder Ryan Church from the Washington Nationals along with catcher Brian Schinder ( Or M.d and my friend Breggie, they look alike ) For once highly touted prospect and High five enthusiast Lastings Milledge. Spring Training began and with in two weeks Ryan and former major leaguer Marlon Anderson collided in the danger triangle ( When the 1st basemen,2nd basemen, and Right Field all go after a short pop up behind the first base bag)
He had a minor concussion and sat for at least 2 week because it was spring so it wasn't that big of a deal for him to miss time. He came back and the regular season started. He was the brightest star on the Mets and would of made his first All star game but during a late may game against the Atlanta Braves he slid in hard to break up a double play. As he did his head crashed into the middle infielders knee. Causing him to hit the the ground face first . It is hard to watch . He was sent to an Atlanta hospital for tests and was later released . At that point you would think he would be taken care of right away , but for some reason he wasn't put on the Dl imeditaly instead they flew him out to San Fransisco and played a few times during the west cost trip . You can tell by hearing interviews he had done over that time you could tell something was wrong. He had a tremendous down fall and was never the same player again. He drew some unfair criticism from members of the New York media, Fan base, and even his manager. It pretty much doomed his tenure as a Met. He was Traded to Atlanta ironically the next year. The Mets the next year and since then have been extremely diligent with injuries.
As a former high school baseball bench player ( I know its not the same as a pro ball player). We are told to do whatever it takes to help the team whenever we get into the game . That means the simple sacrifice hit/bunt, be a decoy runner( basically draw the throw so the runner on third can score either start a run down or steal 2nd) and then came the dangerous. Take a pitch , hard slide into second and breaking up a double play . For me breaking up a double play was my thing. I was 6'2 and 235lbs in my senior year so if I got into the game as a pinch runner I knew what I had to do. I took my knocks with playing 115% all the time. When I got to play I would use my size to my advantage . If anyone wanted to take third base when I was playing they would have to run through me, I would also lean in to pitches to get on base during close games, and since I was big and on a few teams that I played for I was a target for pitches to establish their dominance ( when you're a 16 year old kid and someone throws at your head, you know you've arrived ). I'll be honest I got knocked out a few times and maybe I should have said something but my teenaged ego got in the way. So to hear that the MLB is going to take an aggressive step to protect their players bring me a great sense of pride. This of course will be in place in the minors and will go down to the colleges, high schools and little leagues. Head injuries are finally being taken more seriously and the game will be safer.