Umpires are used to being struck by baseballs, however they hardly ever need to cope with it once they’re working the bases. Junior Valentine was a sufferer of a uncommon direct hit whereas umpiring first base in Monday evening’s Cardinals-Mets recreation in New York. He by no means noticed it coming, both.
Valentine was drilled in the face close to his proper cheek by an errant throw from Cardinals shortstop Edmundo Sosa. The second-year MLB arbiter rightly assumed that Sosa’s spinning, off-balance toss from behind second base would not get close to him. He was targeted on making a name as the Mets’ Kevin Pillar was racing for first base.
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The throw knocked down and bloodied Valentine, who stayed in the recreation regardless of struggling a big abrasion.
Call it an infield hit, instances two.
“No one was expecting that. He was pretty far over there,” Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said, per MLB.com. “That was louder than anything I’ve heard an umpire be hit. I felt really bad for him. What a stud to stay in the game. His face was bleeding pretty good. The ball centered him up.”
Umpire crew chief Jerry Meals stated in a postgame assertion that Valentine “is doing well.”
“He’s been checked out and has no broken bones,” Meals added. “He was incredibly alert from the get-go. The blood seemed to stop fairly quickly, thankfully, and he was adamant that he was fine.”
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Sosa was not ejected for making contact with an umpire. His throw clearly was an accident.
Valentine has been working in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in addition to the majors this yr. He made his huge league debut in 2020.