Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Central Cabarrus pitcher recovering after line drive to face, and surgery

Central Cabarrus pitcher Jamey Lee, a junior, is recovering after being hit in the face by a batted ball in a game last week.

The accident broke four bones around his eyes, and broke his nose, coach Jim Knight said. Lee had surgery Tuesday, and the prognosis for a full recovery looks good.

Lee, an honor student who plays third base when he's not pitching, visited his teammates at practice Monday.

Lee didn't lose consciousness after being hit, as trainer Nate Sowle and Knight rushed to the mound.

“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced as a coach," Knight said. "My initial worry was the eye itself, but the whole side of his face was bloodied up pretty badly. It certainly traumatized our players, coaches and opponents. You hope you never see anything like that and it makes every parent of a pitcher worry for their safety.”

Knight called for an examination of the rules govering bats (wood-vs.-aluminum), to possibly prevent more accidents.

“It would be nice to see the powers that be realize that something needs to be done about the bats," he said. "Twenty years ago when I was in school, you had to be a physical specimen to hit the ball the way some of these little guys are doing nowadays. I’ve had at least five emails this week from parents who went through the same thing the Lee’s are going through, and all of them have faced it in the last two years."

"I’m not sure that wood is the answer and I know it’s expensive. But I can’t imagine how many kids need to get hurt like Jamey, or worse, before we do something. Football had leather helmets once, too, until they realized that they weren’t safe. It’s time to change.”

- Cliff Mehrtens


Anonymous said...

I am surprised that more baseball pitchers are not using the "Game Face" protective mask that is used in girls fast pitch softball. I hope this young man has a full recovery.

Anonymous said...

Yes a mask for High School baseball players is worth it. My son a HS pitcher was hit with a line drive in the face. Multiple broken bones,ten days in a trauma center, 150,000 in medical bills. This year he will be wearing a mask made by Rip Hamilton's Doctor.