Angels coach Baylor breaks leg on ceremonial first pitch
If you believe in omens, jinxes or just bad juju, you may want to start praying for the Angels right now.
After all, when it comes to ominous beginnings, it’s hard to beat your hitting coach breaking his leg on the field before the season even begins — while catching the ceremonial first pitch.
And that is exactly what happened to the Angels’ Don Baylor, who suffered the injury — a fractured right femur — while catching the throw from former Angel Vladimir Guerrero at Angel Stadium.
As Baylor received the throw, his right ankle appeared to get caught awkwardly under the rest of his body. He attempted to take a first step toward the dugout before nearly collapsing at home plate. He was then taken to an area hospital.
"It got me sick when I was warming up seeing that and then hearing what happened in the dugout. I just hope and wish for the best," Angels outfielder Mike Trout said after the game.
The 64-year-old Baylor left the Arizona Diamondbacks in the offseason to return to Anaheim, where he played six seasons with the California Angels. He is the former manager of the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs.
"He’s a big part of our team and he has a lot of respect from the guys here. We definitely enjoy working with him in the cage. I think the biggest thing now is to put out prayers for him and his family," said Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick after the 10-3 loss to Seattle.
Baylor and Guerrero are the only AL MVPs in Angels franchise history. Baylor won the award in 1979; Guerrero won in 2004. Earlier in the day, Guerrero signed a one-day contract with the club to retire an Angel.
On the bright side, Trout did homer in his first at-bat of the season — and first since signing his six-year, $144.5 million extension last week.
— Staff writer Rahshaun Haylock and The Associated Press contributed to this report