Part 2 – Poetry Alive and Well In The Sport of Baseball

Last week I wrote about Oakland A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty and his special moment after hitting a home run and looking skyward to his mom Gretchen. This week there’s another Oakland A with a story that could be a Disney movie.  A perfect story written by the baseball gods, not by a script writer in Hollywood.

Dustin Fowler

If you follow baseball you immediately think of the St Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler.  There is another Fowler in Major League Baseball and this one plays for the Oakland A’s.   This Fowler a 23-year-old outfielder was drafted by and played one game for the New York Yankees in 2017 before getting traded to the Oakland Athletics for Sonny Gray last July.

Fowler making his Yankee Stadium debut in a different uniform than he planned.  He suffered a season ending knee surgery against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago on June 29, 2017.  Playing in his first Major League game for the New York Yankees he was carted off the field after he rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee because of a collision with the outfield wall and ill placed electrical box.

Fowler never got his first Major League at bat leaving the field to have knee surgery in Chicago.  Bryan Hoch from MLB.com quoted Fowler’s manager Joe Girardi after the injury.  “I was in tears, actually,” Girardi said. “I’m still in disbelief. I’m in tears for the kid. It just doesn’t seem fair.”

Heartbreaking is an understatement to describe the scene after he collided with the wall.  Leaving your first big league start on a cart before you even have a chance to get your at bat.  Your future filled with hours of painful rehab with no certainty on whether or not you’ll be able to return to the athlete you once were.

The Lawsuit

Fowler filed a suit in Cook County, Illinois against the Chicago White Sox and the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field, the ISFA.  His suit claims that the parties were negligent because they failed to secure an unpadded electrical box along the right field line that injured his knee.  The lawsuit also states the box is at knee level and blends in with the wall blocking it from the players view.  The box is actually there to supply wifi to fans.  At current time the lawsuit is still pending.

Yankee Stadium Return

Fast forward to May 11th, 2018 this season in New York at Yankee Stadium.  After months of rehab and playing his way into a roster spot with the A’s he arrives in New York to start against his former team.  Once again to make his debut.

This debut included an at bat against pitcher Sonny Gray.  Gray the player that Fowler was traded to Oakland for.  Fowler’s family on hand in the stands to see their son finally get his moment at the plate.   He hits a single in the 4th inning  recording his first major league hit.  Cheers coming from the  Yankee fans on hand knowing  his story.

It has come full circle for a player that wasn’t sure he was going to continue his playing career.  Coming back to play Major League Baseball again and record his first hit against the team that drafted him.  A moment for Dustin Fowler and another moment that shows us how poetic and perfect the game of baseball can be.

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