Travis Ishikawa hits a Ball. To see the actual event, go here.
Being rather an indifferent baseball newbie, who knows that the best way to enjoy a cumpulsory night at the stadium is to pay attention, I asked Dutch a question, that in hindsight, was foreshadowing things to come.
I noticed that a lot of the fans in our section were drunkenly waving mitts around. I assumed that the reason that people enjoy watching a sports game was that they could, in the elysian fields of their imaginations, insert themselves in the game and thus enjoy a virtual athletic experience. I surmised that they brought the mitts as a prop, to further the illusion of participation.
"No," Dutch said, "they bring them to catch balls."
So when Travis Ishikawa's 8th inning homer landed squarely on my shoulder, I, too, wished I had brought a mitt to the game.
Which raises another question in my mind, "how fast did that ball go?" While I have the experience of excruciating pain running up and down my brachiatic nerve, the compression of my deltiod, and wrenching of all four little rotator cuff muscles, and the shoving of the head my my humerus into some nether region behind my scapula-- none of that, as picturesque as it is, tell me how fast that ball was going.
According to my lazy internet search, it was going around 90 miles an hour.
The experience led to a lot of answers to unasked questions. For example, "what happens when a fan gets slugged by a ball?" Well, an attractive paramedic is summoned by the volunteer courtesy staff (after they have asked you all sorts of questions like, where do you live? and what is your name?) And he will escort you and your hysterical husband to the Fan ER. I don't know what else to call it, because I am sure the players aren't treated there. I joined some unused cardiac equipment and a blond yahina who was vomitting from an excess of beer.
What does your husband do as soon as he realizes his wife hasn't been killed by the errant ball? He calls his baseball-loving dad to see if he is watching the game on TV and to find out if the TV viewers got to see the exciting incident. (they didn't, ironically, the cameras didn't move fast enough).
Are the doctors at the Fan ER nice? Yes they are. After he delicately figured out that nothing was broken (delicate, because I had to take off my shirt, and he was not the least pervy about it, not that I expected him to be, but the nurse went to very great lengths to make sure I was "covered up" with one of those huge hospital tarps) he and Dutch watched all the replays from the waiting room (all three views) to see the impact.
Where did the ball, ultimately go? I don't know. A jackass in a black hoodie knows. He didn't tell me, though. It was enough to shove Dutch out of the way (Dutch could have caught it, saved us all a trip to the ER, and got a souvenir at the same time) and then catch it as it rebound from my shoulder.
Did the Jackass have a mitt? Yes, yes he did.