As an ex-baseball player, I can safely say that there is nothing more terrifying than looking down the barrel of a pitcher's gun, his bullet being a freakishly fast pitch coming right at your head.
Forget having the potentially last out of the big game be hit your way or even being up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. If you want to make a baseball player shake in his cleats, throw a ball directly at him without warning.
Still, I will give beanballs their due credit. Despite being scary and often quite painful, they do provide for some good baseball entertainment from a fan's perspective. I mean, come on. How many of us here didn't think that Sammy Sosa getting hit in the head and staying on his feet despite the shattered helmet was at least kind of awesome?
Thus, let's give these unfortunate events a moment of glory and take a look at the nastiest hit-by-pitches in modern baseball history.