On Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb was struck on the right side of his head — possibly around or directly on the ear as seen in the cringeworthy replays — by a sizzling line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
The scary incident happened in the fifth inning with Tampa Bay leading the game 3-2. After being struck, Cobb went directly to the ground holding his head tightly with both arms, but showed little movement otherwise in the immediate aftermath aside from occasionally kicking his legs. A stretcher was immediately summoned to the field, but the athletic trainers and paramedics on scene took every precaution imaginable in stabilizing Cobb before wheeling him off the field through a gate behind home plate.
According to Todd Kalas on the Rays television broadcast, Cobb never lost consciousness on the field, which was a very encouraging sign. He also reported that Cobb had been transported to the Bayfront Medical Center, and it was there that doctors determined Cobb had suffered a mild concussion.
Honestly, that has to be about the best possible news one could expect after being struck in the head by a baseball flying 102.4, which is what the ball coming off Hosmer's bat was measured at. But perhaps just as encouraging and relieving was the following tweet sent by teammate David Price, who immediately went to the hospital along with Cobb's father and girlfriend.
Cobber is way more tough than me!! Laughing at jokes and the name they gave him!! Please keep him and his family in your prayers
— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) June 15, 2013
To learn that Cobb avoided a serious injury and was in good spirits so shortly after the incident is what finally took the knot out of my stomach.
In the aftermath we've also learned one other piece of information that was really very cool. According to multiple reports at the ballpark, the entire Rays starting rotation along with former teammate James Shields, who now pitches for Kansas City, met Cobb in the tunnel to wish him well before he was loaded into the ambulance.
That was really very cool of all of them, and I think it shows you the strength of solidarity that not only goes along with sharing a clubhouse in the big leagues, but to a certain extent I think it shows there's an even stronger bond shared by pitchers. No one understands the pressures and dangers of their job quite like another pitcher would, so it's only natural they stick together.
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports
• Mariano Rivera taking time to meet behind-the-scenes baseball workers
• Fantasy: Detroit's Rick Porcello hitting his stride
• College World Series gets 'F' in spelling