THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
The end of June had some stories that really tugged at our heart strings. Last week, we examined the heroic acts of MLB Umpire John Tumpane as he selflessly saved a woman from suicide. One day later, in Chicago, our hearts sunk.
Dustin Fowler was ranked as one of the best prospects in the New York Yankees' farm system. Scouts said he was ready for the big leagues in spring training, but he didn't get his call until late June when he met the team in Chicago to take on the White Sox.
After waiting out an approximate three hour rain delay, Fowler finally took the field in the bottom of the first inning shortly after 10pm local time. With two outs, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu hit a deep foul fly down the right field line. Fowler gave it his all, but the ball landed in the seats. The problem was that Fowler did, too.
Fowler's momentum took him into the padded wall and caused an injury to his right knee. He tried to stand on it and fell to the ground in pain. The medical cart had to come out to escort him to an ambulance. Fowler was due to lead off in the top of the second. He only played two defensive outs and didn't even get to the plate.
The grief everyone was feeling was immeasurable. Here's a kid who worked his whole life to get to this point, only to have his first game end abruptly.
If there was a moment where sportsmanship was shown, however, it came when the White Sox Twitter feed sent this out:
"Sending our thoughts to Dustin Fowler of the Yankees who left tonight's game following a collision with the right field foul wall."
The responses to this were incredible. Fans of both teams reached out to show their support. Yankees fans tipped their caps to the White Sox for their class.
It's a shame that it takes such an event to bring people together. But it's nice to know that people can reach across the proverbial aisle to come together in support of all members of the baseball family.