Don Baylor breaks leg in bizarre accident on ceremonial first pitch on opening day (video)


Vladimir Guerrero was laughed at his poor ceremonial pitch — then rushed to Don Baylor’s side when he could not get up. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

In one of the more bizarre injuries in baseball, Don Baylor broke his right leg — on the ceremonial first pitch of opening day.

And Baylor was catching the first pitch.

Baylor, the former major-leaguer who is now the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, crouched on one knee to take the throw from Vladimir Guerrero, with the two making a feel-good battery of the two Angels players who have won American League MVP awards. But Guerrero’s pitch was low and away and when Baylor lunged to backhand it, his right ankle turned badly, breaking his right femur. Guerrero rushed to his side, but Baylor, 64, could not get up. He was carried off the field and will undergo surgery Tuesday.

Baylor was known for his toughness as a player and his ability to shake off being hit by a pitch.

Warning: the video is difficult to watch.

“It got me sick when I was warming up and hearing what happened in the dugout,” Mike Trout said after the Angels’ loss in Anaheim to the Seattle Mariners.

“Obviously it’s a freak [injury],” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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