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Luis Salazar loses his left eye

Mar 16, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Luis Salazar

Bad news from Orlando: Doctors were unable to save Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar’s left eye.  They had put off surgery on it until yesterday to allow swelling to go down, but the damage, it seems, was just too extensive.

This is awful, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not the worst thing in the world. When that foul ball went into the dugout there were serious concerns that Salazar could die or have brain damage.  As it stands, however, Salazar is expected to be released from the hospital today to recuperate at home and it is expected that he will be back at the work as the Braves’ single-A manager down in Lynchburg in four to six weeks.

  1. BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Ugh. Not good. But given the alternative – brain damage or bleeding to death – at least he will get back to having a mostly-normal life. Horribly unlucky and extremely lucky at the same time.

  2. Travis Reitsma - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Wow…he’s still a lucky man, but jesus…

  3. ThatGuy - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Did he actually lose the eye or lose the use of it and is blind in that eye? Not that it matters, cause either would suck. But Im just curious

    • BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      If the damage is as bad as they say, I’d assume they’d give him a glass eye.

    • trevorb06 - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      They had to surgically remove the eye.

      This is some of the saddest news to come out of baseball in a while. You can see his love for the game since he plans to go back to managing and return to a normal life. My hat goes off to Salazar.

  4. Jonny 5 - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM


  5. cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Well, hell. Too bad about the optics. I wish him good luck with getting back. If it were me I’d try to make the best of the situation; go with an eye patch and never mind the glass. This way I could tell people I’m keeping an eye out for foul balls in the future and be the baddest man in the dugout with the eye patch. Whatever way he goes, I’m real happy he’ll be back soon.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    What ever happened to Juan Encarnacion? Didn’t he ‘shatter his eye socket’ or something else equally horrible a few years back?

    • thefalcon123 - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      The St. Louis Post Dispatch does occasional updates on him. He can still barely out of his left eye (his vision in it is something like 20/400). Currently, he just kind of lives the quiet life and runs of charitable organization.

      • BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        I remember a similar thing happening to a young pitcher for the Red Sox a few years ago – line drive back up the box, took it right in the eye. He tried a comeback a year later, but that was pretty much it. Can’t for the life of me remember the guy’s name.

  7. bamaking - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Bryce Florie was his name. He was a reliever for the Red Sox.
    Last I had heard, he was a pitching coach down in the minor leagues.

  8. JB (the original) - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Wow, that’s too bad, but like others have said, it could have been worse. Nice to see him ready to “get back on the horse” when fully recovered. Not to make light, but it reminds me of when Kruk lost a nut to testicular cancer and had the shirt printed up about “if you don’t let me play” (on the front) “I’m taking my ball and going home” (on the back).

    • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      JB: I’ve had to pass out lots of bad news in my time. I always try to get people to look past the ‘now’ and into the future and it never fails to cheer them up. The Kruk thing is brilliant and I hope Louis Salazar is hearing people make jokes like that. It’ll get him to smile (even though it’ll hurt when he does) and maybe even think up cool shirts of his own. +1 4 U.

      • JB (the original) - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        Big banner when going into the single A clubhouse: “Remember, Luis Salazar is keeping an eye on you!”

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM


  9. dickclydesdale - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    There should be a gate in the dugout to prevent these situations.
    Either that or make them wear face masks.
    I remember Mike Coolbaugh died by getting hit with a ball in the throat.
    He was a 1st base coach, wearing a football helmet coaching the bases would not look cool but it would have saved his life.

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