05.28.07

On This Most Solemn Of American Holidays, Let Us Consider Fran Healy’s Testicles

Posted in Baseball at 5:55 pm by

Inexplicably still employed by MSG and blogging up a storm, former Mets mouthpice Fran Healy takes a curious trip down memory lane (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

If you do something well, you want to duplicate the same stuff. If you’re hot, you eat the same thing that day following that game, you go out to the field at the same time and you drive the same way to the ballpark. If you did five wind sprints yesterday, you do five wind sprints today. Nothing changes.

Something happened to me that would be tough to be superstitious enough to duplicate. I was catching in Chicago in 1974, Ritchie Allen was hitting and Steve Busby was pitching on a cold day. Allen hit the ball and it hit my protective cup, completely breaking it in half. Boy, I was in agony. My chest, my back, it was terrible. I still remember it today.

They took me to the hospital that day. I was worried about the game until the doctor said that they might have to take a testicle out. I said, “I think I want a second opinion.”

I flew out to Boston and saw – I believe his name was Tierney – the Red Sox doctor. He said, “Well it™s swollen, but it™s nothing compared to Fisk. Fisk is really in trouble.”

Carlton Fisk hadn™t played in a month and a half. He saw me that night and he came running over to me and brought over a goalie™s protective cup, telling me I should use this. This thing was huge.

I had in my contract a clause that if I caught 130 games I would get five thousand dollars more. I figured I™ve got to get that five thousand dollars so I rushed back into the lineup. I was so concerned with getting hit that I caught sideways, which in a way hurt my career because I continued catching that way because of the pain. But I was so relaxed because I didn™t care about anything except getting those games in, that I had a big week hitting, such a big week that I was named American League Player of the Week.

Now if you follow superstition, you would go back and get hit in the cup again. Superstition didn™t matter that much to me.

One Response to “On This Most Solemn Of American Holidays, Let Us Consider Fran Healy’s Testicles”

  1. jere says:

    I love when I get to do the retrosheet research on stories told by ex-ballplayers. His tale is unusually accurate. The game he mentioned was July 4th. His Royals then went on to Boston for a series starting on the 6th. But…Fisk’s season ended when he got injured on June 28th. So, the “Fisk hadn’t played for a month and a half” line is off by about a month and a quarter.

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