Nusbaum: Twisted blister: Baseball’s biggest little injury

From Eric Nusbaum at VICE Sports on August 24, 2016:

Al Leiter suffered from blisters throughout his pitching career: first as a member of the New York Yankees, then with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins, and finally with the New York Mets. (Then, once again, briefly with the Marlins and Yankees.) But when I told him over the phone that I wanted to write a story about blisters, he thought I was crazy.

His exact words: “What the hell are you doing that for? You bored?”

Even in the admittedly narrow context of pitching-related Major League Baseball injuries, there are sexier topics than blisters. Big league pitchers are finely-tuned athletes. Their diets are regimented, their throwing mechanics are biometrically analyzed for inefficiencies. It long has been understood that the act of pitching is unnatural and damaging. Elbow ligaments snap. Shoulders are wrecked. After baseball, arms hang gangly for the rest of pitchers’ lives. Professional pitchers go through extensive stretching and conditioning routines to prevent those kinds of injuries. Books are written about those kinds of injuries.

Blisters are not those kinds of injuries. Which makes it seem fairly ridiculous that a professional pitcher can be felled by something as paltry and mundane as a finger blister—something that is, by definition, a surface-level injury. And yet it has happened hundreds of times in MLB, if not thousands. If you throw a baseball very hard for a living, blisters are a ubiquitous workplace hazard.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 24, 2016. Last Updated: August 24, 2016.