Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The "Ecstasy to Tragedy" Story
It was an ordinary day. We were traveling to Ephrata's War Memorial Field for the District Three Class AAA baseball semi-finals. MT was facing Cedar Crest and our son Derek was pitching for MT. His record so far this year was 11 wins and 2 losses. Township had a very successful season and was trying to gain their first berth in the State playoffs. They would need to win tonight to secure that berth. But first, some of the best chicken corn soup offered at any ball game. One of my favorites. Now...... MT scored a run in the bottom of the first, and that was all Derek would need. He was throwing the ball past them and got stronger as the game progressed. Cedar Crest's lone rally came in the third inning when they opened the inning with 2 straight singles, but Derek fanned the next three batters to end the rally. After that, he retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced, five by strikeouts. Township added an insurance run late in the game, but it wasn't needed as they won the game 2-0. By winning the game, MT reached their first District Final in the history of the school as well as qualifying for the State Tournament. This is where the story turns a little sour. In the heat of the post-game celebration, ecstasy turned to tragedy when Derek was mobbed by the team and suffered a very large gash above his forehead when the catcher's mask was pushed into his head. The injury really dampened the enthusiasm of the team and the fans. As our family watched the celebration I noticed that Derek was not getting up from the grass. I immediately started for the field and was told to wait while the medical personnel attended to him. Shortly after this I was allowed to go on the field to see what was wrong. Now, I can't stand to see blood and when I reached him he had blood flowing down his face and out his ears. Boy, was I scared. The Township trainer who I taught school with saw me and told me to stay out of the way. He knew how I handled the sight of blood. He got the bleeding stopped and bandaged his head and allowed me to see him again. He called for an ambulance and after waiting 20 minutes for it to arrive, decided that he and I should take Derek to the hospital ourselves. At the hospital Derek was visited by a plastic surgeon who put over 20 stitches in his head to close the wound. Next day he was scheduled to take a final, so he went to school. After the test his friends found him wandering in the parking lot, not knowing where he was. They drove him home and Carol called for an ambulance. He was given a CAT scan which showed swelling which they said was caused by his taking the test which resulted in excessive brain activity. That certainly isn't something that ever happened to me! Well, he needed a few days to recover, but was not able to pitch in the finals because of the injury. Township lost that game, but still made it to States. More on that in another story. It was an extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.