There isn’t an Athletics fan on the planet who doesn’t vividly recall the horrifying scene in Oakland that took place on September 5th, 2012. Pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar right to the temple. The blow resulted in injuries severe enough that he would require emergency brain surgery that night.
The incident shook everyone in the Athletics organization, and all the fans as well. Suddenly the pennant race, the daily grind of the MLB season, pretty much everything began to seem insignificant. From McCarthy’s jersey hanging in the dugout during the following road trip, to the outpouring of support from Athletics fans through social media and at the Coliseum, it was clear that the level of concern for him was high.
McCarthy wouldn’t pitch for the Athletics again during the season, and it would turn out that his last start for the Athletics would be that fateful day against the Angels. McCarthy would leave the Athletics for the Arizona Diamondbacks on a two-year contract. But the ongoing support for him would continue as he ventured off to the desert and the NL West. The famed “McCarthy Supporters” fan club changed their colors from green and gold to black and sedona red. It’s clear that of the many Athletics players who have moved on from Oakland, Brandon McCarthy was one that was especially tough to see depart.
So when word started to spread late on Saturday that he had suffered a seizure earlier in the week all of those memories of that difficult time were brought back to the forefront. It’s been a tough season for him so far, after battling ineffectiveness throughout the first two months he had been placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, an all too familiar diagnosis for McCarthy over his career. He was out to dinner with his wife Amanda when the seizure took place. He didn’t suffer any more damage to his brain, but the threat of further damage was there at one point.
Incidents like this are somewhat common after someone suffers an injury like the one McCarthy did last year, but they’re still incredibly scary. Hopefully this doesn’t hinder his recovery from the shoulder ailment, or set him back in any way (also because his Diamondbacks are battling the evil San Francisco Giants in the NL West).
We here at Swingin’ A’s would like to send our best wishes to Brandon McCarthy as he continues his recovery, and hope that not only does he not have to endure more incidents like this, but also that his shoulder cooperates with him. When he’s right, he can slot himself among the best pitchers in the game, and we’d all love to see more of that from him in Arizona.