Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fan Who Received CPR During Blue Jays Game Has Died

A baseball fan has died after collapsing and receiving several minutes of CPR during Thursday's White Sox-Blue Jays contest at Rogers Centre.

The incident began as an apparent heart attack in the seating area along the third base line, with paramedics called in to attend to the afflicted patron. According to several outlets, including Toronto broadcaster Buck Martinez, the incident had been ongoing for several minutes before White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkillis requested "Time" from 3B Umpire Mark Wegner, who along with crew chief Mike Winters stopped the contest, allowing a flatbed golf cart to enter the field and retrieve the patient.

"It was not a good sight, it was bad," a visibly shaken Youkilis said after the game. "I could just see the guy pumping on him. It was happening too long. Finally, I was like, 'We got to stop this thing' and Mark [Wegner, third-base umpire] kind of saw Mike [Winters, second-base umpire] and kind of stopped."

According to CityNews Toronto, the fan was pronounced dead upon his arrival at an area hospital.

Close Call Sports is dedicated to the objective tracking and analysis of controversial calls throughout sport; we discuss sporting rules. Yet as the arguments dissipate and today's breaking news becomes yesterday's archival piece gathering dust, we turn to tomorrow, yearning for the next play, the next disputed call and the next opportunity to see something new.

Yes, the healing power of sport is strong, we know that. We also know that win or lose, there is always another game; it might not be the next day or week and it might not even be until next year, but regardless of what our team does on the field and regardless of who our team might be, the very nature of sport gives us hope.

In June of 2011, UEFL'ers voted Dodgers broadcaster and Hall of Famer Vin Scully the best broadcaster in Major Leage Baseball, so it seems appropriate to borrow a quote from baseball's poet laureate.
"As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody's day."
Surely this is why we go to the ballpark and why we watch at home—to smile and to share an enjoyable day, uniting with others based on team affiliation or simple love of the game instead of politics or religion.

In this regard, sport is one of life's grand equalizers, one that has brought us all back to reality before.

During the 2012 London Olympic Games, Team GB superfan Conrad Readman purchased tickets for nearly every venue. After viewing the Opening Ceremony, Readman took two weeks off work to attend events in archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, fencing, football, field hockey and judo, followed by a much-anticipated trip to watch GB's Victoria Pendleton at the velodrome, hoping to see his country secure a gold medal.

Readman was pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack at the cycling venue.

In May, softball umpire Ricky Scearce, Jr. collapsed during a high school contest, dying immediately from a heart attack, while all umpires recall John McSherry's Opening Day death in 1996.

Sport may be a window into the righteous, though sport may likewise facilitate depravity.

An inspirational achievement cruelly provides no protection against the most ordinary transience.

For some, the specter of defeat may contribute to tragedy while for others, the spectacle of victory may lead to the most prestigious of triumphs.

Yes, sports may provide a great escape yet no athlete or spectator is immune from the greater marvel of mortality: The very humanity that encompasses the oft beloved and oft maligned human element is that same element which gives us all reason to cheer for a win and mourn with a loss.

So enjoy it and smile, for in the words of Mr. Scully,
"It's a mere moment in a man's life between the All-Star Game and an old timer's game."

Wrap: White Sox at Blue Jays, 8/16/12
News: Man dies in hospital after collapsing during Blue Jays game
Video: A Fan Suffered An Apparent Heart Attack During Tonight's Blue Jays Game


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Prayers to the family. Great piece here on the true meaning of sports relative to life.

Double Down for Donuts said...

This definitely puts things into perspective, since I have been whining this week about things that are not life or death. *sigh* Does this mean I'm old now? =)

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