MENTAL ILLNESS AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL


What do Zach Greinke (below), Dontrelle Willis, Joey Votto (left), and download (2)Milton Bradley have in common with each other, other than the fact that they are successful Major League ballplayers? According to a article that first appearedimages (3) in 2011 and Published by Bleacher Report, each has spent significant time on the DL for mental health issues. Much like leprosy in a earlier time, today mental health issues are swept under the rug, and that probably accounts for you (and me too) not knowing this fact about any of these players.

They are not alone in today’s America. According to the National Institute Of Health, more than one-fourth of our adult population suffersdownload from some aspect of mental illness. Thousands, of course, remain undiagnosed and therefore go untreated which often manifests itself in outrageous acts of violence that shatter our faith and culture. In recent years, Major League Baseball has taken a proactive stance on a player’s mental health. In fact, most teams employ a Mental Health Coach (same title as a pitching Coach). More light is shed on this development in an article that appeared in The New York Times.

In contrast to that, I recall a time as a teenager in the early 1960’s when the Cleveland Indians had a “crazy” (that was the word used then) center fielder named Jimmy Piersall, who among other things once sat down (left) images (13)while playing the field, ran around the bases backwards after hitting a home run, (right) and kicked a fan images (14)who ran into the field in the ass. I remember announcers describing him as ” colorful”, though in fact he was a very troubled young man. 

He was so compelling that Hollywood made a movie about his life called “Fear Strikes Out”. You can watch a scene from the movie here. Piersall received the treatment and medical support he needed (as did all current players mentioned beforehand). He looks good and feels good as you can tell in this video from a recent appearance at a baseball dinner.

MLB is taking care of their own. Maybe it’s about time we did the same as the United States of America for all citizens afflicted with this illness……

2 responses to “MENTAL ILLNESS AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

  1. Pingback: “WHO REMEMBERS………..” JIMMY PIERSALL | REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL

  2. Pingback: REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL – A YEAR’S RECAP | REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL

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