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  • Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron Collide

    08/11/2005 9:31 PM ET
    Cameron suffers fractures in collision
    Mets right fielder placed on DL after running into Beltran
    By Marty Noble / MLB.com

    SAN DIEGO -- Running at full speed, Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron dived and extended their gloves almost simultaneously in the seventh inning Thursday, intent on catching a sinking line drive in right-center field, and not the least bit mindful of possible consequences.

    The baseball was still airborne as the paths of the two outfielders -- both center fielders by trade -- intersected. Their faces collided, and the often unrecognized danger of big-league baseball came to the forefront. Some 35,000 people in Petco Park inhaled through their teeth as people do in such anxious moments. Seconds of seeming silence followed.

    In their dugout, the Mets reacted as people rather than players. They instantly feared the worst though they had no sense of what the worst could be. No matter, at that moment, as they processed the sickening impact they had witnessed, their day and their perspective had changed.

    Within hours Thursday their roster -- and perhaps their season -- had too.

    Even before their game with the Padres was in jeopardy resulting from the line drive that went uncaught, they suspected they had suffered the loss of Cameron for the season. Their fears were confirmed. His head-to-head collision with Beltran had caused the Mets right fielder to suffer a slight concussion, multiple fractures of both cheekbones and a broken nose.

    The 2-1 loss and its ramifications mattered little even before the extent of Cameron's injuries were known. The Mets still were awaiting word on Beltran as they made their way to Los Angeles as a diminished, saddened and shaken team. They would worry about their season some other time.

    "From time to time," Tom Glavine said before leaving the Mets' somber clubhouse, "things happen that put the game in perspective."

    The Mets didn't like being reminded.

    Even before official word came, the players predicted the recall of Victor Diaz and that Cameron would miss significant time, if not the final 48 games. The full extent of his injuries was unknown at that point. In fact, before the busses departed, the club announced the results of the first CT scan were negative. But a subsequent test detected the structural damage to the face of the popular 32-year-old outfielder.

    "It's not going to be good," one of the Mets said as he left the clubhouse for a team bus. "They said he was a mess. It might be bad."

    Cameron had been removed from the field on a stretcher after lying motionless on the PETCO Park lawn for several minutes after a collision more vicious than most Mets personnel could recall. Marlon Anderson, the second player to reach the fallen outfielders, called it "a car crash" and said Cameron was "dazed, not really there" at first. "His eyes," Anderson said. "... He was right."

    The only sign of injury Anderson detected was blood, a lot of it, coming from cuts inside Cameron's mouth.

    "I can't imagine being a paramedic at the scene of a car wreck," Anderson said. "And that's pretty much what this was: a car wreck."

    Cliff Floyd, Cameron's closest friend, made the sign of the cross and looked away, sickened by the blood as Mets trainer Ray Ramirez tended to Cameron, and Beltran, also dazed, crawled away. Beltran eventually left the field under his own power, but escorted. The club feared he too had suffered a concussion. At one point, he was seated on a table in the trainers' room, leaning back against the wall, occasionally shaking his head.

    He later acknowledged he had little memory of the episode or the immediate aftermath.

    "After a collision like that," he said, "I feel lucky."

    Beltran later said "I'm dizzy" as he walked slowly across the clubhouse.

    Beltran and others said the "center fielder's mentality" of the two played a part in the collision.

    "They're trained to want the ball," manager Willie Randolph said. As it turned out, the ball that neither caught was critical to the loss. It became a one-out triple for pinch-hitter David Ross. Pinch-runner Damian Jackson scored the Padres' second run against losing pitcher Glavine moments later when Joe Randa singled.

    Jackson, formerly with the Red Sox, had been involved in a collision with Johnny Damon in the 2003 American League Division Series against the A's. Damon took the brunt of the hit.

    "Those things happen. It's part of the game," Jackson said. "Unfortunately, I've been through it and know what it's like.

    "Hats off to those guys for giving such an effort for Tom Glavine. Baseball takes a beating for not being physical, guys are dogging it. You hear that all the time. But we're out there without protection, and there are times like this when it's dangerous. People will look at it as one of the top 10 all-ugly incidents. Why not one of the top 10 great efforts?

    "To me, you had two center fielders going after it with everything they've got, and neither one was letting up or backing off. Cameron has been a center fielder all his life, and he still plays like one. Most right fielders will veer off or give way on a play like that, but he went all out, the way he always has. You have to respect that as a player.

    "I just hope they're both OK. They have families just like you do, and we're all playing a game."

    As Cameron lay on the field, first on his back and then on his left side, Floyd spoke to him. "You'll be all right," Floyd said. Floyd said Cameron acknowledged his words. "But I'm not sure he really understood me," Floyd added.

    There were moments of fear, one in particular, when Anderson placed his hands on Cameron's rib cage as if the fallen outfielder needed help to breath. That wasn't the case. Cameron, players said, never lost consciousness.

    Later, Padres president Sandy Alderson, who had witnessed Cameron being moved outside the clubhouse, said he had been told Cameron had suffered no type of seizure.

    The collision had brought others to mind. Mike Piazza recalled one involving Dodgers teammates Delino DeShields and Raul Modesi that left DeShields looking in two directions at once. Pedro Martinez recalled Expos teammate Rondell White hitting a wall with his head. And there were thoughts of Steve Henderson and Lee Mazzilli colliding in Los Angeles when they played for the Mets.

    But this one was different, the two players diving and crashing head-long into each other.

    "Most of them you see," Piazza said, "Guys are on their feet. This was awful."
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  • #2
    Heard about that during the Cardinals game and saw that they were going to show it on ESPN a few minutes ago. I couldn't watch it.

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    • #3
      it looked bad. they were both going full out

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      • #4
        There's a link to the video on MLB.com if anyone wants to watch it.
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        • #5
          I hope he's okay and can come back.
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          • #6
            our local news showed both of them running towards each other before it went to break. they were going to show the collision when they came back but i didn't think it was going to be this bad so i changed the channel.

            my thoughts are def with him. talking about his face reminds me of kevin stevens :(

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            • #7
              I've seen it a couple of times on ESPN and it looks just awful. I don't want to see it anymore.
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              • #8
                that was ugly. One of the worst I've seen.

                Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both cheekbones and a slight concussion
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                • #9

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                  • #10




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                    • #11
                      Damn, I just saw the video. Jesus. That was terrible.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GloveSaveandaBeauty@Aug 12 2005, 01:50 AM
                        Damn, I just saw the video. Jesus. That was terrible.
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                        • #13
                          its no wonder cameron got it worse, his face collided with the side of beltran's head.

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                          • #14
                            Hard to believe. The first time Beltran goes all out all year and someone gets hurt. Let that be a lesson to you Carlos.
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                            • #15
                              Aw man, that sux bigtime. That had to hurt like hell.

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