Chapman's injury hits home for young baseball players

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - After surgery to insert a metal plate above his left eye after being drilled with a line drive, Aroldis Chapman's injury is really hitting home for some.

The crack of the bat is a sure sign spring is here, and summer isn't far behind. However, those few scary moments on the mound in Arizona Wednesday night puts that crack of the bat in a much different perspective.

"If something like that happened to one of my kids, I don't know what I would do. These kids are like my own children.  For something like that to happen, it would be devastating," said Chris Newton, head coach of the Anderson High School baseball team.

Newton and his players both know the risk of the very same thing happening to them is a part of the game, but it can't affect how you play.

"It's part of the game, it's going to happen. You can't live in fear. You've just got to go out there and play the game," said Cory Peterson, a pitcher for the Anderson High School baseball team.

Even though it is part of the game, it's still a parent's worst nightmare.

"What happened to Aroldis last night is a horrific thing.  Nobody wants to experience that, and certainly don't want their kids to experience it," said Rich Blandford, who has a son on the Anderson High School team.

Blandford is a baseball kind of guy. He has a son on the team and runs Backstop Sports in Eastgate. To him, Chapman's injury can really be a learning experience.

"It's an opportunity for these kids to test some new equipment, get something out on the market that these kids will actually end up growing up with and getting used to so it won't even be an issue for them by the time there at this level playing at the high school level and beyond," said Blandford.

Players and coaches FOX19 spoke with say they're open to the idea of protective equipment.  In fact, there are bat regulations in Ohio for high school baseball players. But, while steps are being made for a safer game, anything can happen.

"You're going to play to the best of your ability at all times, and let everything out. If something happens and goes the wrong way, then it happens and goes the wrong way when you're doing 100 miles per hour," said Newton.

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