If you are one of those narrow-minded people that thinks baseball players aren’t tough, perhaps Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister may change your mind.
In what could be considered one of the biggest starts in his career, Fister took a batted ball off of his melon at full speed and stayed in the game to pitch six scoreless innings when his team needed him most.
Fister took a potentially horrific accident and turned it into one of those rare shining moments in sports that can make even the casual fan shake his head in amazement.
The Tigers starter was on the wrong end of a line-drive from San Francisco Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco’s bat, but remained cool as a cucumber and stayed in the game. The ball was coming so fast all Fister had time to do was turn his head just enough to deflect the ball into shallow center field for a single.
The play came with two outs in the second inning of Game 2 of the World Series with his team already down 1-0 in the series. Tell me if you were one of the Tigers players you wouldn’t be fired up after that!
Surprisingly, Fister appeared to be okay immediately after the incident. In fact, he never even bothered to remove his hat to check for battle damage. A brief visit from the Tigers pitching coach and manager Jim Leyland confirmed what we had already witnessed; Fister is a robot and would continue without so much as dusting himself off.
There is no doubt why we call the World Series, the “Fall Classic.” In the first game-and-a-half of the series we’ve witnessed Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in a game and Fister take a line drive off his head and still continue to pitch brilliantly for his team.
Players like Fister are why I love the game of baseball. They are tough as nails with ice in their veins and keep our national pastime on top as the greatest sport in the world.
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