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Don Baylor suffers fractured femur catching Vladimir Guerrero’s first pitch

Apr 1, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

Don Baylor

An unfortunate incident kicked off the Angels’ season on Monday. Hitting coach Don Baylor suffered a fractured right femur while catching the first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero, who signed a one-day contract to officially end his career with the Angels, and had to be helped off the field.

He’s slated to undergo surgery Tuesday.

Guerrero seemed to initially think Baylor was kidding around after catching the pitch and laughing as he ran towards the plate, only to realize once he got there that Baylor was in some serious pain. Guerrero helped him to his feet, but it didn’t take and he needed extra assistance.

Baylor was working his first game as the Angels’ hitting coach, having been hired last October. He had previously served as the hitting coach in Seattle, Colorado and Arizona following managerial stints with the Rockies and Cubs. In 2003, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks plasma cells in bone marrow.

Baylor, 64, played 19 season in the majors in a career that ended in 1988. He won the 1979 AL MVP award as a member of the Angels after hitting .296/.371/.530 with 36 homers and a league-leading 139 RBI.

  1. raysfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Poor guy–bet Baylor found that almost as embarrassing as it was painful.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      (Note, the above was posted before the update. I did not realize the seriousness of the injury. It was not my intent to make light of his injury, and I hope he recovers well.)

  2. Earnest Christian - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    Reblogged this on Earnest Christian presents The OpinioNation | Sports and Pop Culture.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:50 AM

      you disgust me

      • hotdogfinger - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:56 AM


  3. sfm073 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Vlad should be known as an expo not an angel.

    • bfunk1978 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      well he can’t exactly retire an Expo, can he?

  4. ajbaxter1975 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Baylor lost his balance due to his enormous balls. Poor slob, I wish him well.

    • chinahand11 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:03 AM

      Did Vlad hit him with the ball? Did you ever think, if you had just one 100-mph fastball left, and some guy you never liked squatted behind the plate grinning, would you throw it at his face?

    • captainwisdom8888 - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      so messed up. but hilarious ha

  5. andreweac - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Earnest Christian needs to blocked from the SEO spam.

  6. andreweac - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Baylor was diagnosed in ’03 with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer that weakens the bones. Also afflicted Mel Stottlemyre, among many others.

    • tuberippin - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:09 AM

      Thanks for the explanation. I was curious as to how he could have snapped his femur with such ease in this situation.

    • vanmorrissey - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      My mother also. Normal bumps become breaks, not a laughing matter.

  7. ggallin4evr - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    Someone $#1& in Earnest Christian’s mouth please.

  8. Amanda Joy - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:38 AM

    Here’s the video I recorded at the game of Don Baylor’s injury:

    • thetoolsofignorance - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:54 AM

      I shouldn’t have watched that. His leg buckled mid thigh. It was awful. The poor man. A cancer that weakens your bones? Its bad enough having cancer but to be left in that condition, where you can’t even crouch without a long bone breaking? Well that is just terrible. Get well soon, Don

    • jm91rs - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      Damn you for posting that. One of those things I had to watch but knew I shouldn’t.

  9. patshal - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Scary scene I watched it happen on

  10. kev86 - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Sad to watch. Get well soon.

  11. tominma - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    What a terrible thing to happen to such a stand up guy! We still remember him with fondness for what he did while playing for Boston! Get well soon, Don!

  12. florida76 - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Angels are one of those sports franchises where you hear about weird stuff like this, they had a player murdered during the season back in the late 70s, and other incidents. Overall, kind of a disappointment as a franchise with a lone World Title and pennant to show since their birth in the 1960s.

    • pjmitch - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Are you referring to Lyman Bostock? Great player cut down too soon

  13. rbj1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Career leader in HBP. And never once showed an ounce of pain at being hit.

    F.U. Cancer.

  14. rdav29 - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Hopefully it’s not more serious where his bone was weakened and broke because of an underlying condition.

  15. yahmule - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    I’ve always liked Don Baylor. My friend and I sent him a letter and a bunch of baseball cards during his MVP season and the cards came back signed beautifully, along with a couple signed color photos. Of course, his toughness was legendary, so it’s particularly awful to hear about his current condition.

  16. nolanwiffle - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Bad day in Birdland back in ’76 when the O’s traded Don for some jackass named Reggie. Baylor reportedly cried when told of the transaction.

  17. hushbrother - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Poor Baylor. This was a guy who could once take a Nolan Ryan fastball off the forearm without blinking.

  18. deathmonkey41 - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM


  19. jeffr85392 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Not a laughing matter at all. Get well soon, Don!

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