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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Baseball tragedy
Bill Mitchell, Photographer
Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 07.23.07
->> I just read about a minor league baseball coach who was killed after being struck by a line drive.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=480

This one really has affected me because I thought of the many times that I've had line drives whiz by my head during games. We all need to be conscious of what's going on around us when shooting baseball games.

I didn't know Mike Coolbaugh personally, but he is in my thoughts and prayers this morning.
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Matthew Rosenberg, Photographer
Charlottesville | VA | United States | Posted: 11:16 AM on 07.23.07
->> I saw that this morning on the MSNBC ticker. Horrible. I seriously considered buying a batting helmet for myself after a foul ball bounced off the water cooler by my head during a UVa baseball game. Does anybody where a helmet during a game?

You have to feel sorry fot the kid too. A fluke accident that he is going to carry with him forever.

-Matt
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:36 AM on 07.23.07
->> A Batting Helmet is not a bad idea, a bat bounced off my head back in 1975 (High School) while I was waiting for my turn when my classmate (the guy at bat) let go of the bat. Nothing more than a minor skull crack, but it could have been worse.

My prayers are with his family and friends. My brother owned a "AA" team in Puerto Rico, baseball is an important part of my family.

Y
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Jason St.Peter, Photographer
Austin (Cedar Park) | TX | | Posted: 1:31 PM on 07.23.07
->> I learned about this when the paper I shoot for asked me to cover the memorial at the Express game tonight. It sent chills down my spine knowing how easy this could happen to a photographer. When shooting the field action now I always keep my eye on the batter and move to the camera only after contact is made since the side of my head is fully exposed to a line drive when focusing on the players in the field. I know I may miss some plays doing this but I have seen way to many wicked line drives not too.

Related to this there was a bad hit on a photographer on Sunday at the British open caught on TV, anyone know this photographer and is he ok?

Jason
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Matthew Rosenberg, Photographer
Charlottesville | VA | United States | Posted: 1:50 PM on 07.23.07
->> There were two people hit by balls at the Open. One was a photographer the other a fan. I think the reports said they were both OK. A lot of blood, a nasty scare, but nothing serious.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston / Houston | TX | US | Posted: 3:46 PM on 07.23.07
->> Wow, very unfortunate. I shot Coolbaugh back when he played third base for the Round Rock Express in 2005. Thanks for letting us know about this sad incident Bill.
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Dianna Russell, Photographer
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 4:14 PM on 07.23.07
->> This is just horrible news.

The Texas League Double-A Tulsa Drillers were just here for four games against the Springfield Cardinals at the end of last month and the Cards were just there last week for a four-game series.

My prayers go out to his wife Mandy (expecting their third baby in Oct.) and their two young sons and to the Tulsa Drillers players and staff. And Tino Sanchez is in need of prayers after this tragic accident as I'm sure he is feeling especially horrible.

There is no way to dodge a line drive foul. You will never see it coming -- especially at field level. I had two scares in last nights game one of which bounced off the visitor's dugout rail and screamed over my head. It sure made me sit down and take a deep, thankful breath. I made a comment to the Wranglers trainer Chris DeLucia about needing a glove. Maybe a helmet isn't such a bad idea.

You would be surprised at how many people, fans and some players included, don't pay attention during the game. I've even caught myself reaching down for a bottle of water while a batter was hitting.

This is just so sad.

A couple of additional links:
http://www.texas-league.com/news/?id=8268
http://tulsadrillers.com/news/drillers/?id=4972

~Dianna
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Jeffery Patch, Student/Intern, Photographer
Huntington Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 4:22 PM on 07.23.07
->> Jason,

I saw the photographer get stuck at the British Open on TV the other day. Ouch. Looks like he had a concussion. He was concious but sure looked dazed.
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Marc Atkins, Photographer
Aylesbury | Bucks | UK | Posted: 6:25 PM on 07.23.07
->> Jason,

'Related to this there was a bad hit on a photographer on Sunday at the British open caught on TV, anyone know this photographer and is he ok?'

I know of the guy, have met on a few occasions. AFAIK he is okay.
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Jason St.Peter, Photographer
Austin (Cedar Park) | TX | | Posted: 6:59 PM on 07.23.07
->> Marc,

Glad to hear he is ok. I have seen the damage both a golfball and baseball can cause when hit.

My prayers go out to all those who were effected by this tragedy.
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Dianna Russell, Photographer
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 8:52 PM on 07.23.07
->> Back on the thread topic of the death of Tulsa Drillers hitting coach Mike Coolbaugh,

Tulsa Drillers’ Team President Chuck Lamson announced that the Drillers have set up a memorial fund to benefit the Coolbaugh family. Checks can be made payable to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund and sent to:

Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund
c/o Spirit Bank
1800 S. Baltimore Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74119

All memorial fund money collected will go directly to the Coolbaugh family and more information can be found here: www.tulsadrillers.com

My thoughts and prayers to the Coolbaugh family, the Tulsa Drillers and the Colorado Rockies organization.
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JohnPaul Greco, Photographer, Assistant
Milwaukee | WI | USA | Posted: 9:51 PM on 07.23.07
->> A batting helmet is not a bad idea.. I know how hard a varsity HS player can hit a ball after I got hit in the theigh..! ....however, this story is terrible!! It was that experience, and seeing the pic of the sports photographer whose 300 was struck,..and himself was hospitalized, made me rethink my way of covering games!

My condolences to the Coolbaugh family!

JP
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Jack Joseph Jr., Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:24 PM on 07.23.07
->> The local college that I shoot for replaced their old baseball field and its 4 foot chain link fence with a beautiful new field fenced in like a prison. I shot a few games there this spring standing on the in-play clay just to the outside of either of the great new dugouts.

I only got hit once by a slow bouncer but I was never comfortable enough to concentrate on either outfield or base line action. I probably won't shoot there again. It's just too unsafe and not very crowd friendly as well.

There is no way to protect the base coaches but it's my view that if field owners can't provide safer areas to shoot from let them take there own pictures.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 11:30 PM on 07.23.07
->> Terrible news about the base coach. I heard that this morning. My heart also goes out to the batter whose ball struck him. I can only imagine how he feels right now.

I've developed a healthy "respect" for concussions of late. I have a friend two houses away that slipped on ice and fell in the parking lot at work this January. He was off work for about 4 months as he waited to get medical clearance that he was neurologically well enough to return to work part time. (He had short term memory problems and would also do things like get "lost" a couple blocks from home.) He had hoped to return to full-time work gradually as an engineer supporting boiler systems, but last week his management told him that he still wasn't able to perform his work properly and he was being placed on long-term disability. After that, I wouldn't feel silly in the least wearing a helmet in a photo well.
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Mark Buffalo, Photographer
Lonoke | AR | USA | Posted: 12:01 AM on 07.24.07
->> I've shot from the photo well at Dickey-Stephens Park on two occasions this season and thinking back about it after hearing what happened last night, it is very scary!

I shot an American Legion game tonight and I was much more aware of what I was doing and trying to keep my eye on the ball as much as possible.

Also, our condolonces go out to the Coolbaugh family.

Mark
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Stephen Traynor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Harker Heights | TX | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 07.24.07
->> THis is indeed a tragedy.

I met Mike and several other players during the 2005 Round Rock Express season. He was always a leader for younger players and had great respect for photographers at the games.

It was at a game in in June 2006 when The Rocket was making his comeback with the Astros when I was hit in the head by a foul ball. Fortunately, it had ricocheted off of another pole before it hit me, but it left the imprint of the seams of the ball on my forehead. I have tried to wear a batting helmet for most non- prep baseball games since.

The Express was always a tight family and I know they are doing everything they can for the Coolbaugh family. We should all remember to cherish life everyday, kiss our family members and strive to make meaningful images of the world around us. It could disappear in an instant.

Steveo
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Rachel E. Bayne, Photographer
bellingham | WA | | Posted: 12:14 AM on 07.24.07
->> I've almost been hit several times. I guess you only think about the severity of photographing baseball (or other sports) when something this tragic happens. It could have been any of us. How many times do we put our lives in danger without thinking too much about it just to get the shot? I would bet most of us have.
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Paul Nelson, Photographer
Temperance | MI | USA | Posted: 8:21 AM on 07.24.07
->> I agree with everyone else w/baseball - we take it for granted and even sometimes chuckle with the teams in the dugout (more w/the slow bouncers), but there is certainly risk and it would be in our best interest to reduce that risk....

What freaked me out the most with my shooting - was covering the Indy Racing League this last weekend. Think that a baseball is coming fast enough? Knowing what happens in other places of the world (and the Jeff Krosnoff crash is very stuck in my mind) makes you think twice. I even tried to figure out the reaction time I would have, which there is practically none. Speed is the thrill in motorsports...but looking down the track and seeing cars coming directly at you doing 170+ can mentally wear you out.
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Jason Palmer, Photographer
Wichita Falls | TX | USA | Posted: 3:31 PM on 07.25.07
->> Coroner report says that Coolbaugh died as the result of blood loss to the brain after the foul ball ruptured an artery in his neck.

The ball actually hit him in the back of the neck behind his ear. A helmet wouldn't have done him any good.

Realistically, once the ball hit him and ruptured the artery, there was nothing that anybody could have done.

Keep his family and the Drillers organization in your thoughts.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 07.26.07
->> A sad related story - a 12-year-old softball player died this week after being hit in the head during an infield drill...

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/25/softball.death.ap/index.html
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Paul Hollands, Photographer
Chester | UK | United Kingdom | Posted: 11:15 AM on 07.30.07
->> 'Related to this there was a bad hit on a photographer on Sunday at the British open caught on TV, anyone know this photographer and is he ok?'


I actually shoot for the guy who was hit - he's fine now, was just a bit (ok, slight understatement!) dazed and confused at the time. As he pointed out after the event, with the humour that only a happy outcome and hindsight can give, - its one way to get your picture in the papers!

Back to the original thread, my thoughts go out to the coach's family who was killed, it really is a tragedy.

Admittedly my knowledge of baseball is pretty limited, but have always thought that you guys who shoot it must be brave/mad/crazy (delete as applicable!!) what with the way the balls can fly off the bat.
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David A. Cantor, Photo Editor, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 5:44 PM on 09.21.07
->> A great SI read on this tragic story.........

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/the_bonus/09/18/coolbaugh0924...
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David A. Cantor, Photo Editor, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 6:45 PM on 10.04.07
->> http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3049388
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Thread Title: Baseball tragedy
Thread Started By: Bill Mitchell
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