I am asking my readers to share this story. It is not about money. It is about getting my friend Danny the medical help necessary to recover from a horrific accident. I must warn you, a picture will appear towards the end that is quite graphic, meant only to show the extent to how serious this injury is.
My friend Danny and I are from different sides of the country, and in fact, really have only met face to face one time. But through the years, if I am counting right, going on ten years now, we have remained in touch with each other, offering laughs and support. We share many things in common. We both have daughters. We both had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma many years ago. And we both have to deal with late effects from the treatments that we were exposed to, in order to save our lives. Many of those issues are similar as well.
One of the only differences I am aware of, and I am thankful for this, was Danny’s service in the military. And if I am not mistaken, it was during his service that he faced his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Danny is one of the most positive people I will ever know. He loves nature. He spends as much time as he can with his family. And he loves his sports. He splits his loyalties between where he is from, and where he resides.
Of everything that Danny has been through, between cancer, issues from survivorship, his military record, nothing seems to have had as much of a permanent impact on Danny as what happened to him while attending a Seattle Mariners baseball game.
This was Danny’s view on June 5th. And it would be the last time he would see it with perfect vision from both eyes. A line drive foul ball struck Danny in his right eye, flush. The picture is gruesome, and honestly, he is probably lucky that his injuries were not as severe. A baseball thrown from a pitcher can be thrown between 80-100 mph on average. A line drive of a ball from a bat travels much faster. There is little time to react.
The three major sports all have some sort of protective netting to protect fans.
But the netting is only partial. Behind the goal posts in Pro Football. Only around the blue lines in a hockey arena on both sides of the ice. And only behind home plate of a baseball game. Sure as a fan, we all hope to have a shot of going home with a free souvenir like a hockey puck that gets tipped into the stands, or have a ballboy or ballgirl, toss a foul ball to a young fan. Hockey players are sitting ducks on the bench as they wait for their turns to go out onto the ice, just as the fans behind them. Sure the most powerful shots will be headed toward the goals, but that does not mean that a player or fan will not take a shot to the face with a puck. Baseball is no different, as foul balls constantly head toward the player dugouts at crazy speeds, with the fans unprotected just beyond those dugouts. But history shows, only until a tragedy hits, does any of the big three professional sports do anything to make good or prevent. For hockey, it took a girl being killed. Just a few weeks ago, a national story broke the hearts of everyone, when a little girl was hit in the head by a fly foul ball. Our hearts wrenched as the player who hit the ball, broke down in tears. Since then, we have heard nothing. I say we, meaning the public.
But as a friend of Danny’s, only some of us heard what happened to him. There was no news coverage.
Honestly, I have no idea how he is even dealing with this. The status of his vision, or the eye itself is still not determined. Bleeding has been an issue even a week later because of medications he takes for issues related to his cancer survivorship. Even doctors right now are baffled how to provide any relief from the pressure, the pain, and the bleeding.
The response from the Seattle Mariners?
Some momentos, get well tokens if you will.
My friend Danny does not need an autographed baseball or picture or flowers. He needs the Seattle Mariner organization to step up and help Danny find the medical care he needs to heal and recover. If this was one of the Mariner players, like Santana or Bruce that took a shot like Danny did to the face, you know the Mariners would spare no expense to get the player the medical help needed.
Danny has health care, including from the VA for having served our country in the Army. But what he does not have, and the Mariners can help with, is getting him the medical resources necessary to help him recover.
It’s great that baseball teams like the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers are among the first to finally extend the safety netting down the field. I am curious that as the Mariners at one time had talked about extending some netting, January 31, 2018 (MLB.com news) why only to extend the netting to 11 feet high to the end of the dugouts.
Danny has many friends who are supporting him emotionally, and trying to rally the Mariners to do more than what they have. Danny needs medical help.
Besides sharing this post, your are encouraged to write to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, contact the Seattle Mariners via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most importantly Danny, know that so many are behind you. And we are all hoping for a full recovery. But it should not take a tragedy like this (or worse) for the Mariners or MLB to do something.
Just moments after I published this post, Danny has been informed he will lose his eye.