Houston Astros minor leaguer Delino DeShields Jr. took a 90-mph fastball to the face on Friday night. Shortly thereafter, the right side of his face blew up in dramatic fashion. A friend took a picture, shared it on social media and DeShields went viral. On Monday, DeShields, the son of former major leaguer Delino DeShields, answered some questions by e-mail about what he’s been through for The Buzzer.
FOX Sports: On a scale of 1-10, how much pain were you in?
Delino DeShields: Definitely 10.
FS: When did your face blow up the way it did?
DD: It blew up immediately.
FS: Were you scared or did doctors expect that to happen?
DD: I wasn’t scared at all. Everything happens for a reason, as silly as that may sound considering I got a ball to my face. But at the end of the day, I’m blessed and I know that God has something in store for me.
FS: Have your teammates ribbed you about the injury?
DD: At first my teammates were very concerned and worried, but once they saw the picture of me with my thumbs up and saw I was in good spirits, they knew it was OK to be funny with it. So I heard that I looked like professor Klump from "Nutty Professor" and I also got that I looked like a Ninja Turtle, so those made me laugh.
FS: Can you eat?
DD: I can eat crackers and soft food, but nothing chewy. My teeth really hurt from the impact, but to maintain weight and stuff I just drink Muscle Milk. I’m gonna be sick of it by the time my mouth gets healthy.
FS: How are you doing now?
DD: Right now I’m going great, man. I’m in high spirits, and, like I said, I’m just blessed that God is giving me a second chance to play the game I love. It’s just a minor setback. There’s gotta be some major stuff that needs to happen to me before I can’t step back on the field against my own will.
FS: You seem to have a good sense of humor about this. When were you able to laugh about it?
DD: I do have a good sense of humor about it because it could be a lot worse and I’m not dead. I’m still able to enjoy what life has to offer and that’s always something to be happy about. It’s funny you ask this because the first time I laughed was actually when I got hit and was on the ground. As soon as I gained consciousness, the first thing I felt for were my teeth. If anyone knows me. they know how much I love my teeth and my smile. It’s my money maker. Hahaha. But I was on the ground, felt for my teeth took a huge breath of relief and said, "at least all my teeth are still in," and we all chuckled a little bit while I was on the ground because who would be concerned about their teeth after they just got squared up in the face with a fastball, so that was pretty funny. I’m already looking back at this and still making jokes and laughing about it.
FS: Do you know when you’ll be back on the field? Do you think you’ll be scared to step in the box again?
DD: I don’t know when I’ll be back on the field again. I could’ve played the day after if I were allowed. That’s how competitive I am, but obviously this is a sign that I need to just take a breather and just take some time off. I’m hoping that it’s nothing longer than a month. Also, I’m never scared. I have a football mindset. I’m gonna get in the box and it’s still gonna be a battle between me and whoever is throwing and you’re still trying to win. If anything, I’ll have nerve because I’m excited to play again, but as far as being scared, naw, that’s not me. If I get hit in the face again, so be it. I signed up, I’m committed to play this sport, there’s nothing in the contract or rules that say you aren’t gonna get hit in the face or be injured or anything like that, and I know that so I’m just gonna go and continue and do what I love to do. Nothing will change. Other than I might have to wear a flap to cover my face. LOL.
FS: When did you know you were going viral?
DD: I realized the night that it happened. My buddy who tweeted the picture at me first said that he got a couple thousand retweets after my initial retweet. Then the next day, I honestly couldn’t believe how fast and how many people saw my picture. I had friends calling me from across the country saying that my face was on local news and all sorts of stuff. Kind of a weird way to go viral, but going viral is still going viral, you know what I mean. The power of social media is insanse!
FS: Are you using this to get any sympathy points with the ladies?
DD: Haha. Naw, man, girls are looking at me and walking the other way. LOL. But really, I don’t want people to be sympathetic or treat me a certain type of way because of what happened. That was never an intention of mine. I’m still gonna be the same Ol’ Delino no matter what. But if there’s anyone out there that thinks my face is cute, they know where to find me: Instagram: @linodeshields;Twitter: @linodeshields.