Big League Stew

Todd Frazier performs Heimlich Maneuver, saves choking man at lunch

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Cincinnati Reds rookie slugger Todd Frazier prevented a big-time choke job Tuesday, and it had nothing to do with baseball's pennant race.

Lunching with teammate Ryan Ludwick in a Pittsburgh restaurant Tuesday, Frazier saved a man from choking by using the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge a piece of steak. Here's what Frazier told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon about his adventurous lunch with Ludwick:

"I said 'I think that dude is choking over there.' He was a little obese and there were two women side-by-side trying to give him the Heimlich. [Ludwick] said get over there because I was the closest one. So I went over there and was yelling at them to get out of the way. They did and I gave two pumps and it came out."

If Frazier were a pitcher, like Justin Verlander, this is how he would have stopped the man from choking.

The man repeatedly thanked Frazier and paid for his lunch, "which he didn't have to do," Frazier added. Such a save makes the game-ending homer Frazier recently hit to beat the Braves look like a warning-track fly ball. And considering the other homer Frazier recently hit after letting go of the bat, has anyone considered he might be from a planet far, far away?

[Tim Brown: Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter puts family first after crisis]

And great leadership on Ludwick's part — like a latter-day Jor-El — directing the rookie Superman to the rescue. This was Frazier's first Heimlich, but he apparently knew what he was doing. The post doesn't say how or when Frazier learned CPR — and even trained paramedics can break ribs with a wayward thrust — but perhaps we'll learn more later.

Frazier's heroics equal the recent life-saving actions of Oregon football player Mark Asper, those of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope, and easily top the good deeds done by other professional athlete Samaritans such soccer's David Beckham and baseball colleague/Amazon adventurist Roy Halladay. But all are good guys for their acts, no matter their professions or our preconceived notions of how they should be.

[Around the majors: Tigers manager Jim Leyland wants media to hold umps accountable for calls]

And let's just remember that a man from Pittsburgh probably had his life saved by a guy from Cincinnati. That intercity rivalry might not be Cleveland-Pittsburgh, but let's just say Cincy resents having to share the Ohio River.

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