Here are some cases of MLB games that ended it terrible injuries of a player. Let’s take a look at some career-ending moments on the field.
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Number 11 Bobby Valentine
In 1969, Robert ‘Bobby’ Valentine debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the age of 19. In the early 70s, Valentine was a regular starter for the California Angels. Then, on May 17, 1973 something happened that effectively put a stop to his ascension in the MLB. Valentine was chasing a home run ball when his spikes got caught in the outfield’s chain link fence. His momentum carried him forward. Valentine’s season was over. He did return to play but never regained his speed and eventually retired from baseball at the age of 29.
Number 10 Chris Snyder
In 2008, Chris Snyder played against the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s the type of injury that makes men everywhere cringe when they see it or even hear about. A foul ball hit the Arizona Diamondback directly in the groin. Snyder managed to play through it for a few innings but eventually took himself out of the game. Snyder managed to recover from it and returned to professional baseball.
Number 9 Juan Encarnacion
Juan Encarnacion is a former outfielder that played eleven seasons in MLB and made his major league debut for the Detroit Tigers, at age 21. The year 2007 marked the end of his career. At the time, Encarnacion was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. During a game on August 31, teammate Aaron Miles hit a foul ball that struck Encarnacion in the face.
Number 8 Tony Conigliaro
When it comes to baseball, Tony Conigliaro might be one of the sport’s greatest comeback kings. In 1964, during his rookie season with the Boston Red Sox, Conigliaro batted .290 with 24 home runs in 111 games. He hit an impressive home run during his very first at-bat in Fenway Park. Then, in August, the rookie broke his toes and his arm. Regardless, the following season he became the youngest home run champion in American League history, at age 20. Then, on August 18, 1967, Conigiliaro took a fastball to the face in a home game against the California Angels. Yet, about 18 months later Conigliaro returned to professional baseball with a fury. He hit 20 home runs with 82 runs batted in, in 141 games. He was named the Comeback Player of the Year.
Number 7 Tony Saunders
Using the proper mechanics while pitching is essential not only for performance but also for safety. In 1999, Tony Saunders was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. In one game against the Texas Rangers, Saunders threw a wild pitch. It was the end of Saunders’ promising career as he had to retire at the age of twenty six.
Number 6 Bryce Florie
Florie, who was playing for the Boston Red Sox at the time, returned to the field after several months. However, he was unable to regain his past form and was ultimately released by his team.
Number 5 Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron
In 2005, during a game against the Sand Diego Padres, Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron had one of the worst collisions the sport has ever seen. The two New York Mets outfielders were both chasing a fly ball. After diving for the ball at the same time, they crashed into each other.
Number 4 Doc Powers
Michael Riley ‘Doc’ Powers caught for four teams between 1898 and 1909. In the National League he played for the Louisville Colonels and the Washington Senators while in the American League he played for Philadelphia Athletics and for the New York Highlanders.
Number 3 Ray Chapman
In August 1920, the Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer was hit in the face with a fastball by Carl Mays, from the New York Yankees. The incident happened almost a hundred years ago at a time when baseball players wore less protection. It was common back then for a pitcher to dirty up a new ball when it was thrown onto the field. This involved smearing it with tobacco juice, licorice or dirt. The ball was thus misshapen and gained an earthly color. This means that, in addition to moving erratically, it was also hard to see. He reportedly never flinched or attempted to get out of the way of the incoming ball, presumably because he couldn’t see it.
Number 2 Jimmy Rollins
In 2014, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins hit a foul ball that bounced off the ground and into his face. When Rollins swung, he’d only partially hit the ball with the top edge of the bat which gave it a strong spin.
Number 1 Delino DeShields Jr.
Delino DeShields Jr, son of former MLB player Delino DeShields, was hit in the face by a 90 mph fastball. Amazingly, he was able to walk off the field by himself.