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Coaches react to Coolbaugh's death
2007-07-23 21:46
by Bob Timmermann

The death of Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh after being hit with a line drive Sunday has resonated through baseball and base coaches in the majors are concerned according to an AP report.

San Diego Padres third-base coach Glenn Hoffman wears a plastic protector under his cap ever since after getting knocked unconscious by a line drive.

"I got hit in Kansas City in batting practice, and from that day on I wear a helmet," he said. "It's a protective shield in the hat. Before that, I had a helmet out there after I got hit. It doesn't cover the ears or anything, but at least you have some protection for the top of the head."


Padres first base coach Bobby Meacham admitted there's times he's not watching the batter.

"Sometimes my back's to home plate or I'm watching the first baseman and sometimes I don't watch the hitter. But I know I can tell when the ball's coming in my direction by the sound of the bat or the movement of the guy's I'm watching," he said.

Said Astros first base coach Jose Cruz: "You've got to be lucky as well as alert. This should be a real wakeup call for all coaches on the line."


Detroit first base coach Andy Van Slyke said: "If we're concerned about the safety of the coaches, I would say we should be more concerned about the safety of the fans and have everyone in the first 20 rows wear helmets because they're in more danger than any coach on the field.

"I thought it was just a matter of time before someone was killed in the stands, to be honest with you, either by a flying bat or a ball."

Also see Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Chicago Tribune stories.

2007-07-23 21:59:44
1.   underdog
More from Mike Downey, and Vin Scully:

2007-07-23 22:07:50
2.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks, I was adding it as you sent it.
2007-07-24 05:44:34
3.   Suffering Bruin
Van Slyke is correct. It's only a matter of time.

Of course I'd rather not think about it.

2007-07-24 07:04:57
4.   Cliff Corcoran
What about pitchers? They're closest and we've seen some awful injuries from comebackers.
2007-07-24 09:46:33
5.   mehmattski
And that, folks, is why bats are still made of wood.
2007-07-24 10:10:12
6.   DXMachina
The insert that Hoffman wears sounds an awful lot like what Bob Montgomery used to wear for a batting helmet back when he was playing for the Red Sox.

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