Photographer's Note

Here is one I dug out of the files.

Each spring from 1997 through 2002 I had the opportunity to photograph college baseball teams as they traveled to Florida during spring break, as their baseball fields back home were generally covered with snow.

I was pre-focused on the Iowa Hawkeyes' 3rd baseman and, as luck would have it (lucky for me but not for him), the University of Rhode Island's batter hit the ball, like a rocket shot, on the ground, right at him. Doing what he was supposed to do the Iowa player stayed in front of the hard-hit grounder but unfortunately the ball must have hit a pebble or large piece of dirt and bounced up to strike the fielder directly in the throat.

This photo was taken a split-second after the ball hit him in the throat. As soon as he was hit he collapsed to the ground, hands grasping his throat and neck, trying to catch his breath as both teams' medical staffs, coaches and players rushed to assist the injured player. Remarkably, other than having the wind knocked out of him and getting a major scare, nothing serious happened to him and this guy stayed in the game. He and his family have several copies of this photo and a few others I took as he was receiving treatment.

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Additional Photos by Gregory Wagner (fotoguy22) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 126 W: 60 N: 671] (4795)
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