8 Most Painful On-Field Injuries in Baseball History

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IINovember 4, 2011

8 Most Painful On-Field Injuries in Baseball History

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    Though baseball isn't a contact sport by definition, it has seen some of the most painful injuries in all of sports history.

    From broken arms and pierced esophaguses to blown-out knees and a fractured testicle, baseball has seen it all.

    Let's take a look through some of baseball's most painful injuries in history.

Tony Saunders

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    Tony Saunders had worlds of potential coming into professional baseball.

    He won the World Series with the Marlins in 1997 and was the Tampa Bay Rays' first pick in the 1997 expansion draft.

    In 1999, however, Saunders threw a pitch against the Texas Rangers and his left arm snapped.  He immediately fell to the ground and his screams could be heard across the stadium.

    The same thing happened to him a year later, and he was forced to retire at 28.

Joel Zumaya

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    The Detroit Tigers' flame-throwing reliever suffered a horrific injury during the 2011 season.

    After delivering a pitch, Zumaya writhed around on the ground with a fractured elbow.

    Ouch.

Buster Posey

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    Buster Posey won the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and is quickly becoming one of the best catchers in baseball.

    His 2011 season was cut short, however, after a home plate collision with Marlin Scott Cousins.  Posey broke his ankle on the play in horrific fashion.

    All we can do is wait and see how his career is affected.

Bryce Florie

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    In one of the gorier injuries in baseball history, Bryce Florie was struck in the face by a line drive while pitching for the Red Sox.

    The liner broke multiple bones in his face and caused eye damage.  The truly remarkable thing?  Florie came back the next season and pitched in seven games for the Sox.

Steve Yeager

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    When you talk about freak accidents, Yeager's injury tops the list.

    He was in the on-deck circle when shards from a broken bat peppered his neck.  Splinters pierced his esophagus, and doctors had to remove nine pieces of wood from his throat.

    This injury did result in some good, however, as Yeager required extra protection while he played catcher after the injury.  He began to wear protective gear that hangs from the mask and protects their throat. This gear was patented by a Dodger trainer and has widespread use.

Dickie Thon

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    Dickie Thon was off to an impressive young Major League Baseball career when it all came crashing down in 1984, at the age of 26.

    He was hit in the face by a fastball resulting in a fracture of his left orbital bone.  Thon suffered vision and depth perception problems after the injury (much like Tony Conigliaro, who would have been an equally good pick for this slot). His career ended less than a year later.

    Broken eye socket?  That cannot feel good.

Mickey Mantle

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    This injury is painful not just because of the physical pain itself, but because it prevented Mickey Mantle from being an even better ball player.

    Mantle is the most physically gifted baseball player in the history of the game.  He hit 536 homers, won three MVPs and won the Triple Crown in 1956 (to go along with an extraordinarily long list of accolades).

    Mantle's entire knee was shredded and this injury hampered him his whole career.  Think of what he could have done on two good legs.

    He might have every major hitting record of the live-ball era.  What could have been.

Chris Snyder

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    Men everywhere will automatically hold Chris Snyder in high regard.

    While behind the dish, Snyder was hit by a foul tip in his crotch.  Only sounds a little bad, right?

    Well, it turns out that the foul tip fractured one of Snyder's testicles.  Yes.  You heard me correctly.  Fractured his testicle (or "ruptured," both are medically acceptable).  Snyder stayed in the game for a few more innings before taking himself out due to the pain.

    God bless you, Chris Snyder. 

    Here's the video for those of you brave enough to watch: Chris Snyder injury