Shortstops, Beware Falling Skydivers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 24 2013 5:44 PM

Shortstops, Beware Falling Skydivers

The Associated Press brings us the story behind the above video from this past Saturday, which depicts what has to be one of the worst-luck sporting injuries you'll ever witness:

A skydiver parachuting in before a summer league game accidentally kicked shortstop Mattingly Romanin in the face, knocking him to the ground and, it turns out, ending his season. The 20-year-old Mattingly said Wednesday he had a concussion and was trying to take the bizarre mishap in stride. ...
Romanin and his Hannibal Cavemen teammates are part of the Prospect League, a summer wood bat league for college players with 11 teams in six states. ... The Cavemen were on the field as the national anthem was played, followed by three local skydivers jumping onto Clemens Field, the historic old ballpark in Mark Twain's boyhood home of Hannibal, Mo., about 100 miles north of St. Louis. ... As the second skydiver veered toward Romanin and his teammates, [second baseman Jake] Mangler and [third baseman Jerod] Smith jumped out of the way, but Romanin stood his ground — he said members of the skydiving crew told players to stand still because the divers would miss them.
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Clearly, that turned out to be some bad advice.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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