Fans and players were left stunned in Chicago on Tuesday night after a terrifying incident in which Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt was struck in the head by a line drive and collapsed on the mound.
The A’s were playing the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field when, in the bottom of the second inning, batter Brian Goodwin drilled a pitch from Bassitt and the ball hit the 32-year-old pitcher right in the face.
ESPN reported the hit clocked in at 100.1 miles per hour.
Video of the incident, which sent the player to a hospital, went viral online. The TV announcer’s reaction left little doubt about the seriousness of the hit.
“Oh my goodness,” he said. “Oh boy.”
The A’s quickly released a statement about the unfortunate accident on Twitter:
“Chris Bassitt is conscious and aware, and is on his way to the hospital. We will provide additional information when possible,” the team’s public relations accounted tweeted Tuesday night.
Chris Bassitt is conscious and aware, and is on his way to the hospital. We will provide additional information when possible.
— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) August 18, 2021
The White Sox also tweeted their support for Bassitt during the game.
Our thoughts are with Chris Bassitt and the @Athletics. 💚
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 18, 2021
A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the game that Bassitt remained conscious throughout his ordeal.
“We don’t think the eye is a problem at this point. It felt like it was below it. He’s got some cuts that [need] some stitches,” Melvin said during a news conference, according to ESPN. “He’s in a scan and we’ll know more about potential fractures tomorrow.”
The White Sox won the game 9-0, although by the end it certainly didn’t matter much to those in Oakland’s dugout — or Chicago’s. White Sox manager Tony La Russa told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that his team was more concerned with Bassitt’s condition than with the game.
“There was a dark cloud around that game the whole time,” La Russa said. “We’re all really hoping he escaped with just a bruise.”
Tony La Russa said Chris Bassitt was his No.1 concern: “There was a dark cloud around that game the whole time….
“We’re all really hoping he escaped with just a bruise.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) August 18, 2021
Unfortunately, Bassitt didn’t walk away with just a bruise. According to John Heyman with the MLB Network, the pitcher suffered a fractured cheekbone and jaw.
Fortunately, though, he suffered no apparent eye damage.
News is encouraging on A’s ace Chris Bassitt. After being hit in the face with a liner last night he sustained a fractured cheekbone and maxilla (upper jawbone). Surgery will be in 3-5 days after swelling subsides. All other scans are clean. Most vitally: Vision is 20-20.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 18, 2021
“Surgery will be in 3-5 days after swelling subsides,” Heyman tweeted.
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