Although umpires have been used to getting struck by balls, they are rarely required to do so when working bases. Junior Valentine suffered a very rare hit when he was umpiring at first base for Monday’s Cardinals-Mets match in New York. It was something he didn’t see coming.
An error by Cardinals shortstop Edmundo Sosa caused Valentine to be drilled on the cheek near his right cheek. Second-year MLB arbitrator rightly assumed Sosa’s spinny, off-balance throw from behind second base would not get close to him. While Kevin Pillar, the Mets’ first baseman was racing for first, he was focussed on his call.
Valentine was badly bruised by the throw and had to be able to continue playing despite his injuries.
It’s an infield hit multiplied by two.
Sosa wasn’t ejected because he made contact with an umpire. It was evident that his throw was accidental.
Retrosheet.org reports that Valentine was, in fact, umpiring Monday’s first MLB game. He was previously employed in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. In 2020, he made his debut in the big leagues.
Publiated at Tue 14 Sep 2021, 01:23:29 +0000