Entries in Baseball (5)


Did Texas Rangers' Announcer Have On-Air Stroke?

Lee Blankenship/Workbook Stock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It was the bottom of the eighth inning as the San Diego Padres took on the Texas Rangers when the audience heard the Rangers announcer have what sounded like an on-air medical meltdown, which some took as a sign of a stroke.

Dave Barnett's play-by-play of Monday night's baseball game took a bizarre turn when he began to speak about a botched robbery and henchman in the midst of the game.

"[The] Go-ahead run is at fifth ... on what Adams is insisting on calling a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman …," the announcer rambled incoherently.

Monday night's broadcast went silent for several seconds as Barnett's microphone may have been switched off. Many fans now fear that the veteran announcer was having a stroke.

Barnett eventually recovered, and this morning the Rangers told ABC News that the long-time announcer believed the incident "to be the recurrence of migraine headaches."

This is not the first time something like this has happened to an on-air personality on live television. Last February Serene Branson, a seasoned CBS Los Angeles reporter, gave a garbled report during the Grammys. She was later diagnosed with migraine-related symptoms.

Doctors say sometimes the symptoms pass quickly, but that incoherent speech could also warn of a stroke.

"Part of a blood vessel can rupture, such as a balloon in an aneurysm. Those need to be treated early," Dr. Jim Moody, a neurosurgeon at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, told ABC News.

Barnett did go on to finish the rest of Monday's game, but he'll sit out the next two while he undergoes further tests.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boy Goes Into Cardiac Arrest at Little League Game

Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An 11-year-old boy was revived after going into cardiac arrest after being hit by a pitch during a  Monday night Little League game at Cook Park in Colonie, N.Y.

It was a balmy night in the Albany suburb. In the bottom of the first inning the little leaguer went up to bat. The ball struck him in the chest, causing him to collapse to the ground.

He had suffered from a condition called commotio cordis. It is incredibly rare, occurring only three to four times a year nationally and mostly in young boys while playing sports.

“It’s an agitation of the heart,” said Colonie EMS Chief Peter Berry. “It happens when a sports player suffers blunt force trauma. If it hits just right, it disrupts the heart’s electric signals and sends the child into cardiac arrest.”

Minutes after the boy collapsed, Prevratil, the Colonie Little League president and manager for the opposing team, leapt into action. He, other coaches and the umpire ran over to the boy while someone immediately called 911.

For about four minutes, Prevratil was on the ground with the boy trying to keep him alert. However, as his breathing grew shallower and his pulse stopped, the CPR-certified Prevratil knew that he had to act and began giving chest compressions to the boy.  Thirty seconds after compressions began, the boy started breathing sporadically and a police officer showed up and continued CPR treatments. A minute after that, EMTs arrived and administered two shocks to the boy’s chest with a defibrillator.

He regained consciousness and was transported to Albany Medical Center. Berry said that the boy is “doing very well” and is “in good spirits.”

According to Berry, 65 percent of children that go into commotio cordis die from it.

Little League International mandates all of its coaches are trained to use an automatic external defibrillator and Berry thinks that the training could even go further.

“It might be a good idea to mandate Little League CPR training.  It’s something we feel very strongly about. Early recognition and initiation of CPR is so important,” he said.

“You never know when you’re going to need it [training]. Thank God I had it,” Prevratil said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


9-Year-Old Dies Walking to Little League Game

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- A 9-year-old boy collapsed and died Tuesday night as he was walking to his Little League baseball game in Las Vegas. Spencer Melvin was walking to the baseball field with his father and brother, who were his coaches.

“The hardest part was watching his father, try desperately to save Spencer’s life,” says witness Jennifer Riley told ABC News affiliate KTNV. “I was walking right by them when it happened. No one knew what was going on.”

A statement on the Peccole Little League website said, “Medics and volunteers tried everything to save the child but were unable to revive him.”

Dr. Barry Love, director of Pediatric Electrophysiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, says that sudden death in apparently healthy children is rare, affecting about 3.4 of every 100,000 individuals.

“First off, it is not due to a ‘heart attack’ in the way that we commonly use the term to describe a condition in adults that results from a sudden blockage of flow to the heart muscle,” said Love.

Love said the most common cause of sudden death is a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the second most common cause are abnormalities of the way the coronary arteries arise from the aorta.

“In this rare condition, there can be episodic spasm of this abnormal coronary artery leading to lack of blood to the heart.  This condition is very difficult to detect especially in a previously asymptomatic individual,” said Love.

Other conditions that can lead to sudden death are a weak heart muscle or electrical abnormalities of the heart, said Love.

Dr. Daphne Hsu, division chief of Pediatric Cardiology at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Hospital, said Spencer could have suffered from ventricular tachycardia, an extremely rapid heartbeat.

“With ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats so fast that it cannot deliver enough oxygen to the brain and body and the child dies,” said Hsu.

The cause of Spencer’s death won’t be known until an autopsy is performed.

The Peccole Little League is selling jersey patches in honor of Spencer, proceeds from which will go to his family to help pay for medical and funeral costs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baseball MVP Admits to Addiction Relapse

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Texas Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP who has battled alcohol and drug addictions for over a decade, admitted Friday he relapsed and had several drinks on Monday night.

In a press conference, Hamilton, 30, said while dealing with personal issues, he went to a Dallas restaurant and in a “weak moment,” had about three or four drinks.

Teammate Ian Kinsler joined him later and the two left and eventually went to another restaurant across the street. Kinsler drove Hamilton home and asked Hamilton if he was planning to go back out. Hamilton said he wasn’t planning to go anywhere.

But, the All-Star confessed, he ended up back at the same restaurant he and Kinsler visited earlier.

“It was just wrong. That’s what it comes down to,” Hamilton said.  “I needed to be responsible at that moment.”

He later reported the incident to the team and to Major League Baseball and underwent two drug tests.

Hamilton said he plans to meet with the league’s doctors in New York in the next few days, and stressed he is serious about staying clean and sober.

“I cannot take a break from my recovery. My recovery is an everyday process.”

The relapse is not Hamilton’s first. In August 2009, Hamilton was photographed drinking in a bar in Tempe, Ariz., which he said was the first drink he had since he vowed to stay sober in October 2005.

Dr. David Sack, chief executive officer of Promises Treatment Centers in Los Angeles and Malibu, said stumbles like Hamilton’s are pretty common on an addict’s road to recovery.

“Most people who achieve long-term sobriety have failed multiple times before they’ve succeeded,” Sack told ABC News. “But an athlete has strong motivation to keep pursuing treatment because their livelihood and career depend on it. In our experience, they do remarkably well with treatment.”

Hamilton has gotten significant support from baseball management and his teammates in his efforts to stay alcohol-free. His teammates stopped drinking in front of him, even shielding him from the smell of alcohol. The 2011 American League champion team’s postseason celebrations eschewed the traditional champagne showers for ginger ale and water.

ESPN reported that the Texas Rangers are working to get Hamilton recovery-related support, which Sack said may include a combination of addiction medications like Naltrexone and individual therapy to explore what factors triggered his alcohol relapse.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rare Disease Doesn't Keep Boy from Baseball Field

At 7 years old, Josiah Viera is just 27 inches tall and weighs 15.5 pounds; however, his size doesn't limit his love for his favorite sport. (ABC News)(HEGINS, Pa.) -- At 7 years old, Josiah Viera is just 27 inches tall and weighs 15.5 pounds; however, his size doesn't limit his love for his favorite sport.

"Baseball makes me happy," he said. "I like real baseball because I like to run the bases."

Josiah suffers from progeria, a genetic disease that causes accelerated aging in children. Its name, of Greek origin, means "prematurely old." Incurable, progeria is among the rarest diseases on Earth and affects roughly one in 4 million.

Dr. Colleen Walsh, who treats Josiah, said it was hard to tell how old his body is.

"About one year was equal to about 10 years," Walsh said. "Josiah's looking at being between an average 60- to 70-year-old."

Doctors told Josiah's mother that his life expectancy was between eight and 13 years.

"It's hard to explain," said Josiah's mother, Jennifer Viera. "Being a mom or a parent and knowing that potentially you're going to outlive your child."

In the spring of 2010, Josiah told the Little League team in his hometown of Hegins, Pa., that it was his dream to play baseball.

"He came over, looked straight at me," said Sam Bordner, Josiah's T-ball head coach. "Now what are you going to say to a little kid like that? So I just looked at him and I told him: 'Look, you know we're gonna let you play.'"

Josiah played one game of baseball that May. He cried when the game ended.

"Josiah took his hat and pulled it down over his face," Bordner said in a home video. "All I seen was two tears running down both sides of his nose...He said, 'I don't want it to be over.'"

Even though his doctors and family were unsure whether his body could make it through that one ballgame, Josiah went on to play in four. By then news of him playing had spread, so when the final game of the season arrived nearly 1,000 spectators turned out to watch.

"He loves the game for the game," said Josiah's grandfather Dave Bohner. "Not win or lose -- it's just love. It's just to swing the bat, hit the ball and run the base."

This season, Josiah returned to play on the Little League field in Hegins.

"I've had lots of people come to me since then -- adults, little kids, teenagers who play softball and baseball -- and say that he's their hero," Jennifer Viera said, "because he didn't let his condition stop him. He was placed here to touch people's lives."  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio