On 5 July 2006, on a play just like the one in the picture, Corey Koskie's life changed.
While trying to catch a foul pop, Koskie overbalanced, fell backwards, and hit his head on the Miller Park turf. Dazed, Koskie left the game and was shortly diagnosed with a concussion.
As those who have suffered a severe concussion can attest, the worst part often comes long after the brain has stopped swelling. Koskie recovered from the concussion quickly, but was laid up with post-concussion syndrome.
The problem with PCS is that it can be very difficult to set a time table for your recovery. For some people, the symptoms subside quickly and they move on. For Corey Koskie, weeks became a month, became the rest of the 2006 season.
Throughout the 2007 offseason, Spring Training period, regular season, and playoffs, Koskie felt like he was on the brink of coming back. But for every day he went through feeling good, there were others he spent feeling dizzy and disoriented.
2007 became 2008, and slowly, 2009. Koskie hasn't seen so much as a pitch on a major league field since his injury, now nearly three years past.
Yet, when the Twins arrived at camp, they found a familiar face hanging around the back fields. Koskie was welcomed with open arms by the team that he first played for. But even before the Twins signed Joe Crede, they didn't exactly have a place for a third baseman, especially one who still may not be healthy.
Fortunately for Koskie, the world's premier free agent expo is going on this season. Even though he was left of Team Canada's provisional roster, Koskie kept trying to convince the powers that be to let him play.
Saturday night, Koskie got the break he was waiting for. When Team Canada's final roster comes out later this week, Corey Koskie will be on it. While this doesn't guarantee him playing time, there isn't a player on the provisional roster who is the clear favorite.
Only time will tell if Corey Koskie can get back to the majors after a protracted layoff, but without the World Baseball Classic as a stepping stone, the road back would be much more perilous.