It’s time for a change.
Kenny Kelly just wants to play baseball, but he can’t. He can’t even chew food.
A night after the Road Warriors center fielder ran full speed into the poured concrete wall in right-center field in an attempt to catch a deep fly ball at Sovereign Bank Stadium, Kelly returned to the park and talked about a comeback.
“I’m a warrior,” Kelly said. “I love this game. Hopefully I can get back and get well, and hopefully come back.”
Dealing with the aftermath of a concussion would be bad enough, he has experienced headaches and dizziness. It took him two hours to crawl out of bed at the Yorktowne Hotel Tuesday morning because of dizziness.
But he has other medical issues too.
He needed stitches to close a laceration to his chin and a puncture wound to his shoulder — apparently suffered when the advertising banner fastner pierced his skin. He suffered two fractures to his orbital bone and a fractured cheekbone on the left side of his face. So he can’t chew food, because he can’t bite down.
The play happened quickly.
“I don’t even remember hearing crowd noise,” said Kelly, who said he also didn’t hear teammates shouting “Wall!”
“First thing I’m thinking about when I see the ball go up in the air is catching the ball. I took a peak at the wall and felt I had some room. For some reason I didn’t feel the warning track…. What made me really go into the wall was I got a glove on the ball. I saw I was getting closer and closer to the wall, but I figured I could catch it and do a little spin off (the wall). But it didn’t happen. Didn’t happen.”
Kelly remembered the ball hitting his glove, and he remembered hitting the wall. Then it went black. When he regained consciousness, he struggled to breathe.
“It wasn’t tightness (in my chest), I just couldn’t breathe,” Kelly said. “But the EMTs did a great job and got me the oxygen right away.”
Kelly never played at Sovereign Bank Stadium, and because the Road Warriors didn’t take batting practice Monday — he said he didn’t know the walls were not padded.
“I didn’t know it was cement,” said Kelly, who played quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in 1998-99 and reached the major leagues with Tampa Bay (2000) and Cincinnati (2005).”I’ve never played in a park where you’d have a freaking cement wall. Never. High school, Little League anything. If anything you’d have a chain(-link fence) or at least a pad.”
The York Revolution and its ownership group Opening Day Partners will “review padding the wall,” Revs general manager Eric Menzer said Tuesday.