A very scary and unusual moment occurred during the MLB game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets on Monday, Sept. 13, at Citi Field in New York City. It’s a moment that one writer said he has “never seen.”
According to For the Win, during the bottom of the second inning of the game, the Cardinals’ shortstop Edmundo Sosa fields a hard-hit grounder on his side of second base. Fielding the ball led him to follow his body’s momentum and spin around in order to quickly turn toward first base.
As he turns, Sosa fires the ball at first base. However, the ball did not make its way into the glove of the first baseman. Instead, the ball shockingly hit the first base umpire in the side of the face even though the umpire was standing several feet behind the bag.
Unsurprisingly, the MLB umpire, Junior Valentine, immediately fell to the ground after being pegged by Sosa’s throw. Fortunately, Valentine quickly sat up. As he did so, he wipes his cheek and a smear of blood is visible. Also, unsurprisingly, he is grimacing in pain.
Medical personal were called in to treat this MLB umpire. They stopped the bleeding. Admirably, he chose to stay in the game and keeping working. Junior Valentine is a very lucky man. Chances are he could have been seriously injured by Edmundo Sosa’s wild throw.
Obviously, the play has been shared many times on social media since it happened during Monday’s MLB game. One person who shared the clip was writer Gary Sheffield Jr. “Never seen an umpire get rocked in the face by an infielder’s throw. Wow,” Sheffield Jr. commented about the play.
You can check out the play below.
Injured Umpire Reached Called His First MLB Game in August 2020
According to Baseball-Reference.com, MLB umpire Junior Valentine first umpired an MLB game in August 2020. His path to the big leagues began when he attended the Wendelstedt Umpire School in 2011. He graduated from the school and later became its chief classroom instructor.
Also before he began his MLB career, Valentine worked as an umpire in the Appalachian League, the Arizona Instructional League, the Carolina League, the Florida Instructional League, and the Pacific Coast League. He played baseball at Maryville College in Tennessee.
Valentine also appears on the website for the Wendelstedt Umpire School.
“I attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School right out of college and have been working professional baseball since then. …” the MLB umpire said. “It’s changed my life by giving me my dream job and introducing me to some of my best friends. I get to continually learn from the best in Major League Baseball annually while also teaching the next generation. …”