The prevalence of sports injuries today is high and wide spread among different kinds of athletes in many different sports. Players are constantly training and honing their skills in order to endure the rigorous demands of competing at an elite level. The amount of pressure put on an athlete to perform results in a training schedule that looks more like a full-time job. Athletes commit to the expectations set by themselves, their trainers, their teams and even their fans in order compete. However, training can't guarantee perfect health and even the top performing athletes are flawed.
Fortunately, most injuries can be treated effectively and every professional sports team is equipped with athletic trainers and medical professionals ready to assist at any moment. But as much as most injuries can be treated, the recovery period can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to an entire season to the dreadful career-ending injury. Any athlete knows the assumption of risk to their body in sports but incidental contact, awkward landings and unintentional collisions can change everything in one brief moment.
Although Major League Baseball is the least physical sport of the Big 4, it's certainly no exception to some of the worst injuries in sports history. Since professional baseball was established, one player has died as a direct result of on-field injuries in a Major League Baseball game. But injuries are not surprising given the intensity and duration of the regular season so most professional baseball players go on the disabled list at least once in their career.
While there can be a lot of devastating injuries all over the league, some damage changes more than just the game. Looking back through the history of Major League Baseball, some of these guys have endured a season where they spent more time on the DL than they did on the field. While there are many notable injuries not on the list including Aroldis Chapman's fractured skull, Ray Fosse's home plate collision and Mickey Mantle's blown knee, these top 10 injuries were either worse looking or simply more detrimental to long-term success. Considering bloodiness, broken bones, intensity of impact, recovery period and the level of talent before and after the injury, these are the top 10 worst injuries in Major League Baseball.
10 Mike Cameron & Carlos Beltran - New York Mets
9 Bobby Valentine - California Angels
8 Chris Snyder - Arizona Diamondbacks
7 J.A. Happ - Toronto Blue Jays
6 Buster Posey - San Francisco Giants
5 Juan Encarnacion - St. Louis Cardinals
4 Tony Saunders - Tampa Bay Devil Rays
3 Tony Conigliaro - Boston Red Sox
2 Bryce Florie - Boston Red Sox
1 Ray Chapman - Cleveland Indians
During a game against the New York Yankees in 1920, Carl Mays hit Ray Chapman in the face with a fastball. Chapman fell unconscious at the hospital and suffered a depressed fractured in his head that was roughly three and a half inches long. The ball had hit him so hard that his skull had broken and pieces of it had lacerated parts on both sides of his brain. He had left the field on a stretcher and passed away in the early hours of the morning due to his injuries. Ray Chapman is the only baseball player to die from an injury sustained during a Major League Baseball game.
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