HomeJuan Vené on the BallInjuries, enemy of baseball players

Injuries, enemy of baseball players

Enjoy a new installment of "En la Pelota" by Juan Vené

“What would have been Mickey Mantle's career without injuries?”… Dick Young.

The Mexican from Etchahuaquila, Fernando Valenzuela, could have been a better pitcher than he was, managed by a manager who took care of his arm in a way that Tom LaSorda did not.
The screwball lefty won 173 games and lost 153, with an ERA of 3.54, between 1980 and 1997.

But in his last seven seasons, 34-49, 5.72. Logically, his arm was not the same, he was injured.

The most pathetic injury story in the Major Leagues has been that of Mickey Mantle, who suffered from ostioporosis, so he needed to play with his legs bandaged up to the groin.

In 1961, when Roger Maris surpassed Babe Ruth's single-season home run record with 61, Mantle hit 54, despite being sidelined by injuries for more than a week. Mantle has been the only player with notable batting power, both right and left-handed.

Injuries don't forgive anyone. They attack both the best and the most modest players. The only successful formula to avoid them is not to play.

There, the young man from the coast, Ronald Acuña, is out of the game for the second time in his career with an injured knee. His dedication to the game is one of the most intense, his abilities extraordinary. But no one is forgiven for injuries.

Mark (The Bird) Fydrich was sensational with the Tigers in his first season. He talked and sang to the ball in the middle of the game. He filled all the stadiums.

But after winning 19 times in his 1976 debut, with nine losses and a 2.34 ERA, he was never a good pitcher again. He could only survive in baseball for five years.

We all thought Tony Conigliaro was going to be a historic hitter, until a fastball destroyed his face. He had to retire in 1975, at 30 years of age.

David Wright, the Mets' symbol third baseman, could barely play good baseball until he was 26, he retired at 28; and now, at 41, he is fired with tributes from his usual team.

346 baseball figures have been inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. More than four times that number have been forced to retire early due to injuries.

Like, Johan Santana in 2012; Grady Sizemore in 2015; Nomar Garcíaparra in 2009; Brandon Webb in 2009; Dave Stieb in 1998; Don Mattingly in 1995; Eric Davis in 2001; JR Richard in 1980… And dozens more.

Thanks to the life that has given me so much, even a reader like you.

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