They didn’t see each other and smashed face-to-face in what many of their New York teammates said was one of the scariest collisions they’ve ever seen. The Mets who ran to the fallen pair during the seventh inning of the 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday said Cameron was dazed and bleeding from the mouth.
Cameron was taken off the field on a stretcher, his body immobilized and his neck in a brace. He was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he underwent two CT scans. Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both cheekbones and a slight concussion, and was to be hospitalized overnight, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said. Cameron was placed on the disabled list.
Beltran had a sore left shoulder and a cut near his left temple. He was taken to Scripps Clinic where he will remain overnight for evaluation and tests, Horwitz said late Thursday night.
“I don’t remember anything of what happened,” Beltran said. “I don’t remember how it happened, I know we got hit. I feel like I got hit by a train.”
Beltran said he felt lucky.
“Of course, after a collision like that, I feel good that I’m OK. My shoulder feels sore, but I’ll be fine.”
Cameron was fully extended diving for David Ross’ liner when he and Beltran collided, falling into a heap. The game was delayed for about 13 minutes as the players were tended to by trainers from both teams, then paramedics.
Cameron lifted up his head at one point, and shielded his eyes from the sun as he was put onto a stretcher by paramedics, lifted onto a cart and driven off the field.
Beltran got up after a few minutes after the collision and eventually walked off the field on his own power.
First baseman Marlon Anderson was the first player to reach the fallen outfielders.
Cameron “was dazed, kind of not really there,” Anderson said. “I was like, ‘Cam, can you hear me?’ He mumbled, ‘Yeah,’ but he wasn’t there. You could tell he wasn’t right.
“I couldn’t imagine being a paramedic going to the scene of a wreck. That’s what that was, pretty much, a wreck,” Anderson said.
“I couldn’t go over there, man,” left fielder Cliff Floyd said. “Once I saw the blood, I’m not good with blood.
“It choked me up for a minute,” Floyd said. “We were laughing and giggling one minute, the next minute, a man’s down on the ground, both of them.”
Cameron moved from center field to right field during spring training to accommodate Beltran, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, so both play with the same mentality.
“I knew those guys were so competitive,” Floyd said. “You try to block that out when they run together, two center fielders. They’re taught to chase the ball. They’re taught to give it everything.”
Neither Cameron nor Beltran caught the ball, which went for a triple. Shortstop Chris Woodward sprinted out to get the ball and throw it into the infield.
“There’s always things that happen from time to time that put baseball into perspective for everybody, and this is certainly one of those instances,” said starter Tom Glavine, who sat on his haunches on the back of the mound while Cameron and Beltran were tended to. “The game, as much as you want to win it, it’s kind of secondary to how those guys are doing, especially Cam.
“It stinks that we lost and it stinks that one of our buddies got hurt,” Glavine said.
The Padres were shaken, too.
“It was as scary a moment that you can have on the field,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Our thoughts are with them.”
Said Young: “For those guys to be extended like that and going after the ball and seeing their bodies laid out like that, it has to rate as one of the toughest ones to see.”
Floyd was hit on the left knee on a 91 mph fastball from Akinori Otsuka in the eighth. He sprawled on the ground for a few minutes, then needed a few more to shake it off before limping to first.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 32 chances and the 423rd of his career, leaving him one shy of tying John Franco for second on the all-time list. This is his 10th season with at least 30 saves, tying Lee Smith’s big league record.
Williams (6-8) got his first win in four decisions. He went seven innings, allowing one run and six hits, striking out a season-high eight and walking one.
Glavine (8-10) lost for the seventh time in nine road decisions this season. He also went seven innings, allowing two runs and nine hits, struck out three and walked none. He also had three hits, matching his career high.
Floyd hit an RBI double in the fourth and San Diego’s Khalil Greene hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
The Mets recalled OF Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk to take Cameron’s roster spot. … Glavine also had three hits on June 19, 1991, at Philadelphia, while with Atlanta. … San Diego’s Randa has six doubles in his last eight games and 33 overall, three off his career-best of 36, which he’s done twice.