Cooper Gardner Dies After Suffering Brain Injury in HS Baseball Game on April 21

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2021

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 19:  A detailed shot of a bucket of baseballs before the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field on Saturday, April 19, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Blue Jays defeated the Indians 5-0.  (Photo by John Grieshop/MLB via Getty Images)
John Grieshop/MLB via Getty Images

Cooper Gardner, a Bath High School junior baseball player, has died after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a game against St. Patrick Catholic School on April 21, per Kara Berg of the Lansing State Journal.

An official cause of death has not been made public.

According to that report, Gardner "was moving to cover a player from St. Patrick's who was stealing second base, [Bath High School junior varsity coach Michael] Collins said. He dropped down to catch the ball and tag the runner, but when he did, they believe the other player's knee collided with [Gardner's] head and he fell with all his body weight on [Gardner], Collins said."

"I've never witnessed something like that," Collins said. "You just always read about things going wrong, but you never think it's going to be one of your kids."

Gardner was unconscious for 40 minutes and was rushed to the emergency room with the brain injury and heart and lung complications, spending six days in a pediatric intensive care unit before being transferred to a regular room, per a GoFundMe page created by a family member. He died Sunday morning in his home.

"If you had a bad day, you could go to practice and see his smiling face and all is right in the world," Collins told Berg. "As smart as can be, had everything in front of him. Good student, humble kid...he was just too young."