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MsK
09-30-2008, 08:02 PM
Looking for a shoulder type injury that would end a pro baseball players career, yet have him recover enough to be able to work as a high school baseball coach.
I'm undecided as to his position, but I am considering him a pitcher or a strong hitter and outfielder- I'm thinking pitcher might make the injury easier to work with. He can still be a great pitching coach. Do high schools have designated pitching coaches?

Maryn
09-30-2008, 09:08 PM
Almost any tear of the anterior ligaments ends a pitching career, IIRC. (I'm not a doctor, nor a deeply devoted fan.) You can still throw, but not for power or distance.

My kids' high school, and my own, had one coach and one assistant coach for the major sports, no specialization except as their talents allowed. They didn't have a pitching coach.

A former big-league pitcher will certainly know more about pitching than a coach who played college ball, but high school athletes are often still working on speed or control, both pretty basic. His specialized knowledge may be beyond their abilities unless he's got an amazing kid clearly headed for the pros.

Maryn, Red Sox fan

Jersey Chick
09-30-2008, 09:09 PM
A torn rotator cuff could do it - it can be surgically repaired, but the range of motion might never be the same - which can affect speed and control, depending on what type of pitcher your character is.

Another is an injury that requires what's known as Tommy John surgery. This is when there's an injury to the elbow ligament and it is surgically repaired by taking a tendon from somewhere else in the body and using that. Pitchers can come back from it, but there's always the chance that they'll never throw quite the same again.

IceCreamEmpress
09-30-2008, 09:10 PM
A bad enough rotator cuff injury will end a pitcher's career.

Only a large high school (either a big private school with a significant endowment or a well-funded suburban private school) will have a pitching coach. That said, there are large high schools of that ilk on both coasts and in some of the Midwestern suburbs, and they're well-known as baseball powerhouses.

On edit: Oh, snap, Jersey Chick!

Jersey Chick
09-30-2008, 09:11 PM
Hee hee - my husband had the rotator cuff thing done - :D

Deb Kinnard
10-01-2008, 03:48 AM
Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) lesion of the shoulder can be pretty nasty, too. Many of them are treated surgically, which can be a career-ender due to the recovery period.

(Thanks Wikipedia for the memory-jog).

Players in any position can pull a hamstring, and this injury tends to recur -- if it works for your story to have something non-surgical, this might be a good route to take.

JamieFord
10-01-2008, 05:06 AM
You could always take a dramatic u-turn and have it not be a sports-related injury, like cancer. Just a thought.

Jersey Chick
10-01-2008, 06:02 AM
Oooh... there was a pitcher (Dave Dravecky) who had cancer - had the tumor and part of his deltoid muscle removed from his pitching arm. He beat the cancer, and made this huge, miraculous comeback. Then, when he was on the mound, his arm just disintegrated - it was pretty awful. I remember seeing it. ick.

He had to have his arm amputated, but he's still alive.

Mason
10-01-2008, 07:51 AM
Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP) lesion of the shoulder can be pretty nasty, too. Many of them are treated surgically, which can be a career-ender due to the recovery period.



That's what I was thinking. Labrum tears have ended many pitcher's careers.

Found an old article on Slate with more info.

http://www.slate.com/id/2100895/

RJK
10-02-2008, 03:06 AM
I just had arthoscopic surgery on my shoulder. Everything works well now, major surgery can go either way and could easily end a pitcher's career.

I don't know the details of your story, but your guy could have been a good minor league player and now be a volunteer coach at the highschool. That would make sense. He could pass on his knowledge and tell the players what they are doing wrong, without having to throw 90 MPH fastballs. Your backstory could be two sentences. Torn rotator - bad surgery.

MsK
10-02-2008, 06:12 AM
I just had arthoscopic surgery on my shoulder. Everything works well now, major surgery can go either way and could easily end a pitcher's career.

I don't know the details of your story, but your guy could have been a good minor league player and now be a volunteer coach at the highschool. That would make sense. He could pass on his knowledge and tell the players what they are doing wrong, without having to throw 90 MPH fastballs. Your backstory could be two sentences. Torn rotator - bad surgery.

Thanks for all of the help to all who have posted- it's all great advice and I feel so fortunate to have found all of you here at AW.
RJK, glad to hear your surgery went well and that is great advice about him being a volunteer coach as my timeline doesn't give him the opportunity to have earned his teaching credentials before going into the professional baseball.

Deb Kinnard
10-02-2008, 06:33 AM
Most procedures on the shoulder, short of disarticulation or joint replacement, are done arthroscopically. It's much less invasive and shorter healing time than an open surgical approach.

Kathie Freeman
10-02-2008, 08:58 PM
Sandy Koufax comes to mind, his career ended over arthritis in the elbow - too many fastballs.