Can Stephen Piscotty Recover Mentally from the Collision?
By Chris Gigley
Thankfully, Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty is physically okay after his outfield collision with Peter Bourjos last night. Now, the team and its fans are left to wonder whether it left any mental scars.
It would for most people. The tendency to be tenative on fly balls in the aftermath of such a collision is just human
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nature. The subconscous shift to a more conservative approach overall would be perfectly understandable. And yet, the slightest hesistation from contact by Piscotty, whether on the bases or in the outfield, could cost the Cardinals in a key postseason game.
The good news? Baseball players aren’t most people. They’re much better than we are at getting over collisions like
this. Today, several outlets have used the Stephen Piscotty collision as an opportunity to highlight the worst outfield collisions in baseball history. Let’s look at how the more aggressive parties fared in the aftermath:
1.Earlier this year, Dodger rightfielder Yasiel Puig glanced off second baseman Howie Kendrick while going for a ball. He got clipped in the head and lay face-down for a few minutes. Puig’s sophomore season has been a bust, but not because of the collision. His hammies are the problem. Or one of them, at least.
2. In 2005, former Redbird rightfielder Carlos Beltran collided with Mike Cameron in the Mets outfield. Cameron, the better defender, got the worst of it and was lost for most of the season. But he won a Gold Glove with the Padres a year later and went on to play solid outfield defense for another five seasons before retiring in 2011.
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3. An outfield collision knocked former big league outfielder Johnny Damon unconscious in the 2003 ALDS. Like Piscotty, Damon was knocked unconscious and left on a stretcher. Fans feared the worst. He not only came back for the ALCS, he enjoyed possibly his best season in 2004, the year the Sox reversed the curse.
To be fair, none of these other incidents looked quite as severe as the Piscotty collision (see below). But at least there is precedence for not only a full physical recovery. But a full mental recovery, too. And in baseball, that often means even more.