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There was a scary moment in Wednesday’s Cleveland Guardians-New York Yankees game when a relay throw from the outfield hit the second base umpire Larry Vanover in the head.
The incident happened at the top of the fifth inning. With the Yankees down 3-0 and runners on first and second, catcher Kyle Higashioka crushed a ball to right-center field which bounced off the wall.
The Yankees baserunners hoofed it around the bases while Guardians outfielder Myles Straw corraled the ball and threw it to second baseman Andres Gimenez. He quickly turned and fired, intent on lacing one to home plate, but instead…
He smoked umpire Larry Vanover square in the side of the noggin. Vanover went down hard as the ball ricocheted over toward first base.
Fortunately — and, honestly, somewhat unbelievably given how hard the ball that hit him had been thrown — Vanover popped right back to his feet.
He collected his hat and it almost looked like he hadn’t just taken a pill straight to the dome a few seconds earlier.
Vanover left the game but thankfully did so under his own power.
It was a wild day to be an umpire. Yankees skipper Aaron Boone got the ol’ heave-ho after he got into it with the home plate umpire. He was heated after the Guardians were allowed to challenge a play after the allotted time.
It was definitely an interesting day at the office for this particular officiating crew.
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