Our good friend Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks rookie pitcher, recently had a dangerous run-in with a line-drive. The same day a local Phoenix teen had a similar encounter and now the two pitchers share a bond.
Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Archie Bradley and 14-year-old Nicholas Shumaker from Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz., have something in common that no two baseball players wish to share.
On April 28, both were pitching for their respective teams when disaster struck in the form of vicious line-drive comebackers, which left both of their short-term futures in baseball in question.
However, little did they know that in those moments of anguish and uncertainty, the foundation was laid for a new relationship and a special bond. A bond that sustained them through the early part of their recoveries, and may only grow as they continue with their respective comebacks.
Looking back at that potentially life-altering night, Bradley was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez, which according to statistical data was traveling 115 mph off the bat.
Amazingly, Bradley was able to walk off the field under his own power, pass concussion protocols and avoid facial fractures. He was only found to have suffered damage to his sinus cavity. In fact, Bradley is expected to return to Arizona's rotation when eligible on May 15, which would be remarkable.
While Bradley's scary scene was playing out on television and being digested and speculated about all over social media, Shumaker was going through his own frightening experience after taking a direct hit during his a high-school game. The results were far more serious, as Shumaker was forced to undergo emergency surgery at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
There were far fewer fans in attendance to experience that moment. There was no equipment or analysts in place to determine how hard the baseball was hit. But the human life involved was no less important, which is why Shumaker's doctors and hospital staff thought it would be good and perhaps even therapeutic to bring the two baseball players together to share their remarkably similar stories following Shumaker's operation.
It appears it worked as hoped.
Awesome gesture on Bradley's part and a job well done by those who helped bring them together.
Of course, the best news here is that Nicholas Shumaker is doing well and was even able to return to school on Tuesday. But if there's a cherry to be placed on top, it's that he fully intends on returning to baseball when medically cleared. The game of baseball may have knocked him down, but like his new hero Archie Bradley, it can't keep them down.