On June 3, Tyler Zombro stepped to the mound at Durham Bulls Athletic Park and threw the 2,245th pitch of his minor league career — a 90.6 mph sinker.
He faced his first batter of the night, Brett Cumberland of the Norfolk Tides, with a 1-2 count to open the top of the eighth, a little after 9 p.m. Rain had delayed the game, and morale wasn’t great. The Bulls trailed by 8 runs.
The pitch left Zombro’s right hand, and the batter made contact.
What followed happened quickly and then excruciatingly slowly. The ball left the bat at 104 mph on a line drive up the middle. Zombro barely began to react before it hit him on the right side of the head, just above the ear. He was unconscious before he hit the ground. CONTINUE