"To think that a person can be killed on a baseball field is unheard of." Those were the words from Florida State head baseball coach Mike Martin as he referred to what happened this past Sunday (July 22)when 1st base coach Mike Coolbaugh of the Tulsa Drillers got smacked by a foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez.
Martin says, "It's a sad day for all of us in baseball to lose someone in that manner." Florida State pitching coach Jamey Shouppe
"It's something that you know can happen on a baseball field when you walk out there with guys throwing the ball across the infield at 90 mph, baseballs coming off the bat. You can get hit at any time. It can be dangerous out there."
The threat of serious injury or death led first base coach Glenallen Hill of the Colorado Rockies to wear a helmet at Coors Field during their match-up with the San Diego Padres. Safety and sorrow are certainly on the minds of players and coaches alike but both Martin and Shouppe hope the powers that be don't over react.
Martin says "It can't be something that we get a knee-jerk reaction and go out and start putting covers all over everywhere in a baseball park." Shouppe added, "It's kind of like a lightning strike. You know it's something that sometimes happens because of the nature of the sport and because of the game of baseball. It's something you probably can't help. It's sad, it's unfortunate, it's tragic but how many times have you heard of it happening."
There's a saying lightning never strikes the same place twice. Those involved in the game of baseball hope that saying stays true.