It can be said a thousand times, and it still doesn’t seem to stick: Please wear a cup, kids.
Shots to the carry-on baggage don’t discriminate by age, and you’re never too old to take a bouncer to the Lunchables—something LaTroy Hawkins figured out Wednesday night while trying to close out a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 40-year-old reliever has been perfect as a closer so far this season for the New York Mets, but all that changed in the 11th inning when Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston sent a nasty comebacker toward the mound.
Hawkins attempted to block the ball, but the ball struck first—hopping his glove and striking him flush in the oats and barley.
The nauseating bag-blast was noticed by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin, and Chad Moriyama of MLB GIFs provides us with a never-ending replay of the moment that’s sure to send your boys screaming up into your abdomen.
Image via MLB GIFs
Miraculously, Hawkins played through the pain and fielded the ball, recording the out at first. He also pitched out the inning but was clearly shaken by the low blow. The Mets reliever gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Andre Ethier before managing to get out of the inning.
Hawkins’ reaction to getting plugged in the party platter and then giving up the two runs?
The Mets would go on to lose the game, 5-4, with Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez doubling off of Pedro Feliciano in the bottom of the 12th to send in Yasiel Puig.
“I thought I could get through it,” Hawkins said after the game, via Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News.
To be clear, this wasn’t one of those instances where it looks like a groin shot but actually hit the inner thigh. No, this ball hit exactly where you think it hit—and it hit all of it.
He also wasn’t wearing a cup, and allegedly sat around in the locker room for a good half hour before feeling well enough to stand.
"Direct hit. Direct hit. Di-rect hit." -- LaTroy Hawkins— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 15, 2013
It took 30 minutes for Hawkins to feel good enough to stand up. He shuffled like his "grandaddy" to get back to his locker.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 15, 2013
Hawkins told reporters it felt as though he had been “kicked by a mule,” and that he could feel his gonads “in his throat” after taking the hit.
Thankfully, Hawkins hasn’t had any complications from the incident, but he was loaded into a cart and taken from the stadium like a piece of broken equipment.
Remember this day, men. Mark it on your calendars in blood. This is the day you begin wearing a cup just to go bowling.
On Twitter, walking it off.