A 91-mph fastball, straight to the iPouch.
Umpire John Hirschbeck took a Nick Maronde fireball to the groin during Wednesday night’s game between the Texas Rangers and the Anaheim Angels.
At the plate was the Rangers’ A.J. Pierzynski, who began to swing at a pitch but checked his bat at the last second. Regardless, the ball knicked Pierzynski’s bat and fouled off low, nailing the home plate official square in the guava jar.
Hirschbeck yelled out and an audible “Ooh!” erupted around Angel Stadium as the official slumped over to the ground in pain. Angels catcher Chris Ianetta froze in place with his glove extended, looking in disbelief at the umpire and Pierzynski began motioning for assistance.
Simply put, everyone in the venue—and on the Internet—felt this one.
I hope John Hirschbeck is OK. That looked brutal.— Aaron Young (@AYoungump) April 25, 2013
John Hirschbeck is dead. #MLB— TheJPF (@JohnPaulFutbol) April 25, 2013
Just saw #MLB home plate umpire John Hirschbeck (?) take a foul tip to the zipper uglier than any I've seen before. Video will go viral.— Bob Sarber (@bobsarber) April 25, 2013
Welp, the video did go viral, but Hirschbeck and his legacy did not perish on the field. After a short delay, the umpire was back up behind home plate. He would finish out the rest of the game.
If this feat of iron-plated fortitude surprises you, well, you don’t know John Hirschbeck. This isn’t the first baseball to crater his tenderloin district—not by a long shot.
This is one of those occasions where a cup can only aspire to prevent infertility. A thin plastic wall can only absorb so much damage, and blunt force trauma of this nature will thunder through any groin protection you might have, quick, fast and in a hurry.
It might be time for Hirschbeck to start double-bagging it with the personal protection down there or perhaps find some suitable equipment crafted from Popemobile-grade glass.
Walk it off, but don’t rub any dirt on it. That’s unhealthy: Dr__Carson