Phillies prospect explains tough decision to retire after losing eye in accident

BY Chris Bahr • January 25, 2017

Phillies prospect Matt Imhof had decided to retire at age 23, seven months after a freak accident resulted in the loss of his right eye.

The left-hander suffered the injury while training last June, writing on an Instagram post that “a large price of metal hit me in the head/eye resulting in a fractured nose, 2 fractured orbital bones, and most significantly, the loss of vision in my right eye. … It was decided that the best chance I had to live a normal life was to have my right eye removed and have a prosthetic one put in.”

Imhof detailed the decision to call it a career in a stunning first-person account on in which he talked about the injury, the tough choice he had to make afterward, the challenges of his rehab and recovery, and coming to the realization that he had to give up the game he loves.

“I still love the game of baseball and I'm proud of everything I accomplished in the game. It's opened doors for me I never thought I'd walk through. It's allowed me to represent my country on the biggest stage, and it's given me a platform to effect positive change in the lives of those less fortunate than myself. I am blessed that I was able to play this game for 18 years and will never forget the lessons it taught me along the way.

“I'm a firm believer that baseball, through all my struggles on and off the field, prepared me for this moment. But the greatest thing baseball ever did for me was teach me who I could be without it.”

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