Video: Angels Coach Breaks His Leg During Ceremonial First Pitch
What should've been a festive Opening Day for Angels fans quickly turned sour before the game even started when new hitting coach Don Baylor fractured his right femur during the ceremonial first pitch. Receiving the throw from Vladimir Guerrero, who had just signed a one-day contract with the Angels to retire as a Halo, Baylor's leg buckled and he had to be helped off the field by members of the Angels training staff. The official Angels Twitter account later announced the nature of Baylor's injury and that he would undergo surgery today.
Baylor is serving his first season as the Angels hitting coach. He enjoyed a 19-year playing career in which he hit 338 home runs, won the 1979 AL MVP award with the Angels, and is fourth all-time in hit by pitches with 267. Considering he was able to sustain such a long career after taking so many fastballs, perhaps Guerrero should've just plunked him with the ball instead?
In 2003, Baylor was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of bone marrow that is highly treatable but incurable. One of the complications that arise from multiple myeloma is a weakening of bone structure, which no doubt led to the injury. We wish Baylor a speedy recovery.
The Angels would go on to lose against the Seattle Mariners 10-3, though superstar Mike Trout hit a pretty sweet home run in his first at bat.