em, and the pride a from MJL456's blog

Each scary episode at a ballpark spurs Mandy Coolbaugh to express concern. Wholesale China Jerseys .A pitcher takes a line drive off his head. A fan in the stands gets hit. A foul ball caroms off a dugout wall, striking No. 32 of the Miami Marlins on the back of the head and knocks him off the bench, sending him sprawling on the ground.That number, 32, was one Mandys late husband, Mike, wore during his long career in professional baseball.Mike Coolbaugh was coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers, the Colorado Rockies Double-A affiliate at the time, on July 22, 2007, when a foul ball struck him in the neck. The blow caused a ruptured artery. An hour later Coolbaugh was pronounced dead, at the age of 35.He left behind two sons, Joey and Jacob, ages 5 and 3, respectively. Mandy was pregnant with their third child at the time Mike died. Their daughter, Anne Michael, was born three months later.When the Rockies reached the National League Division Series that fall, they invited Joey and Jacob to throw ceremonial first pitches before Game 3. After Colorado played in the World Series, the team gave a full postseason share to the Coolbaugh family.The next season, Major League Baseball mandated helmets for base coaches. Mandy told Outside the Lines then, I believe theres going to be something good that comes out of Mikes death someday. We may never know what it is, but if this is the start of protecting players and coaches, then I think its a good thing.Mandy and I have been in touch about the dangers of baseball -- and how to counteract them with protective measures -- since I produced Reaction to Tragedy, a 2008 Outside the Lines TV report about Mikes legacy.The day after the ricochet off the dugout wall that decked Miamis Derek Dietrich this May -- fortunately, he was uninjured -- Mandy emailed me, wondering if the incident might help add to the discussion of safety. She was incredulous that dugouts for big leaguers, as well as for her two boys and their peers, still have inadequate protection.I just feel like I continue to see these accidents where it would be so simple to have prevented them, she said.But as Mandy has learned, change is not simple and resistance to it is the norm. In 2008, the first season after her husbands death, the majority of big league coaches opposed the new requirement that they wear helmets. The mere sight of coaches wearing them took time to seem natural.When Mandy, now 41, used to take Joey and Jacob to see Mikes games, he insisted they station themselves behind home plate, where netting would shield them from foul balls. Following several gruesome incidents in which fans were struck by balls and shattered bats at games last season, MLB issued a recommendation that stadium netting at least protect the area between the dugouts. Although it was not an edict, the teams all complied -- and a few installed netting extending to the far edges of the dugouts.Some ticket holders expressed dismay, saying they accept the peril that comes with proximity, and that netting interferes with their sense of closeness to the action in seats that are indeed close to it.Mandy emailed again in July, this time heralding the happy news that Jacob, now 12, and his Little League team from McAllister Park in San Antonio had advanced to the Southwest Regional in Waco, Texas. Ever the advocate, Mandy said the moment might also be an opportunity to raise safety awareness.I dont want my boys to be afraid, I just want people to be aware of the dangers of baseball, Mandy later told the Longhorn Network. While its a great sport, be smart about it, too.She stood in the wings, unable to hold back tears as Jacob told LHN about the dad he lost when he was so young.I know from everyone telling me, he was a really great man, Jacob said. I really miss him so. When he was killed, he happened to be wearing number 29, so thats why I wear 29. When I step on the field, I kind of feel more pride and passion because Im like re-stepping my fathers footsteps.Jacob also follows in his brothers footsteps, etching MC-29 on his helmet and cap, just as Joey did when he played for McAllister. Beyond displaying his dads initials and last number, Joey, who is about to begin high school, also set an example by studying videotape of Mike from when he played.Last week, a euphoric email came from Mandy: My son is going to Williamsport!!!McAllister made it to the Little League World Series for the third time in seven years and Mandy was still giddy about it when she appeared on Outside the Lines on Monday. Here we are, down to the last eight American teams, and its very surreal, she said.Wearing a 29 necklace, her tone transformed as she explained her motivation for speaking out about expanding protection for sports participants and spectators.Its important to me now because both my boys are playing and my daughter will eventually one day get into sports too, Mandy said. I got a call at night telling me that my husband had just been killed. I dont want anyone to have to go through that -- whether its their son, their husband, their daughter, no one should have to do that.Mandy said players at the highest level should consider the messages they send to children with their decisions. For example, no major league pitchers are wearing the protective headwear that was approved for this season, in a joint initiative of MLB and the players association.Big leaguers are their idols, theyre their role models, and if a big league pitcher is not going to wear protection over his head, you know the kids dont want to do it, she said.Mandy and the other McAllister moms are in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, wearing bright orange nail polish, as its the teams new color. In their first-round game, Jacob and his teammates will face Bowling Green, Kentucky, at 8 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN.From the time her sons started playing the game as toddlers, baseball for Mandy has been a mix of memories and misgivings, eagerness and elation. It has always been hard to see my boys walk out onto the field, but theres always been joy and pride in it too, she said.Jacob will be wearing No. 6 in the World Series, not his accustomed 29, as the players were assigned random new uniforms upon arrival. Mandy responded to Jacobs disappointment about the change by looking at the bright side.She told him it was Hall of Famer Stan Musials number, adding, He wasnt too bad.William Weinbaum is a producer for the ESPN Enterprise Unit and often reports on sports safety issues. Wholesale Authentic Jerseys . Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored shootout goals, and backup goalie Cam Talbot earned his second win in two nights as the Rangers shook off a late tying tally and beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 Monday night. Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Outlet . Just as Montreal was settling into the first full working week of a new year, the Impact announced the appointment of their new head coach. http://www.chinajerseysnflwholesale.us.com/ .J. Ellis hit two-run homers and the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-0 Saturday night. RIO DE JANEIRO -- There were first-tee jitters, for sure. This was something new, something distinctive, and even at 7:30 a.m. local time, Graham DeLaet felt a unique vibe as he plunged his tee into the ground on the first tee of the Olympic Golf Course.Golf returned to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, and DeLaet was in the opening group on purpose. Canadian George Lyon won the individual Olympic gold in St. Louis 112 years ago, the last time golf made an appearance in the games, and it wasnt lost on the organizers that DaLaet is from that part of the world.I was a little bit nervous actually, said DeLaet, 34, who opened the Olympic tournament with a 5-under-par 66 and is tied for second with Henrik Stenson but trails Australian leader Marcus Fraser by 3 strokes. We do this for a living week in and week out, but there was something different about that first tee shot today. It was a different announcement for us, and it was just a really cool feeling.I was playing with a Brazilian (Adilson da Silva), and that was neat. We had a lot of people out, especially for 7:30 in the morning, more than I anticipated. It was a lot of fun. We said as we were walking off the first tee, this is pretty cool, first time in over a hundred years, and were kind of the lead group. It was nice.If DeLaet was experiencing any trepidation, he didnt show it -- although later he did hint at it. And it has far more to do with what hes been battling around the greens than any nervousness associated with playing in the Olympics.On the eve of the Memorial Tournament in June, DeLaet took the unusual step of going to Twitter to announce he was withdrawing.Im dealing with incredible anxiety while chipping/pitching right now, he wrote. Its not fun. I needed to WD to get it sorted and get back ASAP.Yikes. Any golfer knows the fear associated with the dreaded yips, whether it be putting, chipping or with the full swing. We saw it painfully play oout with Ernie Els on the first green at the Masters. Wholesale Jerseys. None other than the great Ben Hogan dealt with putting problems. Same with Bernhard Langer. Earlier last year, it was believed that Tiger Woods was battling those demons as he inexplicably couldnt hit a chip shot.Whether that was actually the diagnosis for DeLaet is unclear, but he undoubtedly had issues chipping the ball from around the green. After withdrawing from the Memorial, he has played just three tournaments, two of them opposite-field events and the last the Canadian Open three weeks ago, where he had more chipping problems and missed the cut.A little bit of a break for my brain and just try to regroup, DeLaet said of his self-imposed break. Everything is feeling better and better all the time. I know that when I finally get through the whole thing, its just going to be a little blip on my radar when I look back on my career and thats how I look going forward.Understandably DeLaet doesnt go into a lot of specifics. It is a difficult subject, and one that he has yet to conquer. For those who have endured such troubles, the thought always looms that a poor chip shot -- an embarrassing one even -- could occur the next time a ball does not find a green.For this day at least, DeLaet performed quite well. His name is near the top of the leaderboard after one round of the Olympic tournament. And a little perspective never hurts.When you see how much (the Olympics) means to the other athletes, they have been working at this for four straight years and they are trying to peak for this time, and coming out in the opening ceremonies, you can see how much it means to them, and the pride and the excitement that they have, DeLaet said; Thats been probably the neatest thing for me to see is just how much this means to those other people. 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