MLB: 10 Most Devastating Injuries in Baseball History

Andy VanfossanContributor IJune 29, 2011

MLB: 10 Most Devastating Injuries in Baseball History

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    They are images that stick with us for a long time, and when we hear about them, we get goose bumps or remember what we were doing when we first saw them.

    I'm talking about injuries that you wouldn't wish on anybody, but for some reason as people, we can't look away once we see the injuries happen.

    With how much the media has changed over the years, it's difficult to go way back and actually look at the injury that happened. Today though, we are able to get pictures and feedback almost instantly, so now we can "share" in another's pain.

Jason Kendall

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    One of the more gruesome injuries in baseball, this is how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described what happened on July 5th, 1999:

    “With the listless Pirates down, 3-0, Kendall sought to provide a spark. He dropped an almost perfect bunt down the third base line. As Kendall steamed toward first base, third baseman Jeff Cirillo made a bare hand pickup and whipped a throw to Mark Loretta. Kendall was out on a bang-bang-snap play. His right foot appeared to catch the foul line side of the bag, and everybody watching the play knew instantly this was a bad, bad injury. Kendall's ankle flopped—useless —and he crumpled to the turf.”

    Kendall ended up tearing every ligament and tendon in his ankle. Just thinking about it makes your stomach turn.

Moises Alou

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    In September 1993, Moises Alou was playing for the Montreal Expos. In a game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, his cleats got caught up in the turf as he rounded first base and basically snapped his leg while dislocating his ankle.

    Pictures of Alou holding his leg while his ankle just dangled there were plastered over all the newspapers and television sports broadcasts. He went on to have a good career but will be more remembered for the “Bartman” game while playing with the Cubs in 2003.

Buster Posey

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    More recently, the Buster Posey injury has picked up steam.

    For those of you who may not remember, the Giants were playing the Marlins, and there was a play at the plate. In typical MLB fashion, he barreled over the catcher, trying to jar the ball loose.

    Unfortunately for Posey, it cost him his season as his ankle was shattered. He's since had to put a couple of screws in his lower leg.

Dave Draveky

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    Draveky, a cancer survivor and fierce competitor, was a pitcher for the San Franscisco Giants in 1989. He had had a cancerous tumor removed from his throwing arm the year before, but the cancer had caused his bone to deteriorate. 

    In his second start after coming back from the cancer surgery, Dravecky pitched three no-hit innings against the Expos. In the sixth inning he started off shaky, allowing a home run to the leadoff batter and then hit the second batter.

    On his first pitch to Tim Raines, his humorous bone in his left arm snapped, and Dravecky collapsed, never to pitch again.

Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron

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    While playing for the Mets in 2005, outfielders Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran collided straight on while both attempting to catch a fly ball.

    Cameron would end up with multiple facial injuries and needed surgery to repair the damage. Beltran suffered a concussion and had facial injuries, none of which required surgery.

Tom Browning

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    Browning pitched for the Reds in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. He has a world series championship and a perfect game to his resume.

    However, during a fateful start in San Diego on May 9, 1994, Browning's arm broke while delivering a pitch to Padre Archi Cianfrocco. Spectators and television viewers able to see Browning's arm separate from his shoulder, accompanied by a popping sound.

Tony Conigliaro

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    On August 18, 1967, the Red Sox were playing the California Angels in Boston, and Conigliaro was facing Jack Hamilton.

    Conigliaro was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He sustained a linear fracture of the left cheekbone and a dislocated jaw with severe damage to his left retina.

    The sound was so loud, Carl Yazskremski heard it 25 feet away and was the first one to his aid.

Johnny Damon and Damian Jackson

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    Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon and infielder Damian Jackson were going out after a pop fly in the 2003 playoffs versus the Oakland A’s. They collided and Damon lay motionless for more than nine minutes (AP Oct. 7th, 2003) on the outfield grass.

    Damon ended up with a concussion but did continue to play for the Red Sox in the postseason.

Geoff Jenkins

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    Lunging to get back to third base in the bottom of the second, Jenkins planted his right foot near the base, skidded slightly and twisted his ankle at an angle it isn’t supposed to go.

    He was diagnosed with a dislocated ankle and torn ligaments.

Ray Fosse

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    Fosse was involved in one of the most famous plays in All-Star game history.

    In 1970, with the scored tied 4-4 in the 12th inning, Fosse blocked home plate with Pete Rose charging in. Rose barreled Fosse over to score the winning run.

    X-rays later revealed he had a fractured shoulder, but that didn’t put him out for the year: a broken index finger did.