Home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson was taken to the emergency room after getting stabbed by a broken bat on a swing from Angels star Mike Trout.
A freak accident forced Tomlinson out of the game, and for good reason. Tomlinson’s health was at risk, as a small gap in the umpire’s facemask was a point of impact for Trout’s broken bat.
Umpires are often criticized for small mistakes which, at the end of the day, don’t cost teams in the win-loss column the majority of the time. Yet, Tuesday night served as a reminder that when they step onto the field, they are taking a risk, as well. This isn’t just vitriol from fans.
Tomlinson, like anyone in his field, is forced to stare down every 99 mph fastball until it reaches the pit of the glove. In doing so, he could be hit by foul balls, or in this case a broken bat.
A still photo shows just how close Tomlinson came to a major injury. Laz Diaz took over behind the plate once Tomlinson was removed.
Dodgers vs Angels: Nate Tomlinson avoids major injury
“Never seen that in the mask,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “That was really scary.”
Bob Nightengale reported on Wednesday morning that Tomlinson avoided major injury, thankfully.
“Home-plate umpire Nate Tomlinson was taken to the emergency room Tuesday night after being struck in the face by Mike Trout’s broken bat, with a piece flying between bars of his mask, cutting his face just above his eye and nose. He managed to avoid serious injury, his crew says,” Nightengale reported.
As much as umpires are the targets of criticism from fans, surely no one wants to see this kind of incident. Our thoughts are with Tomlinson as he recovers.