Willie Calhoun was enjoying Texas Rangers' Spring Training in Arizona, until he went through a painful surprise: A 95 mph fastball to his face. It left him with a fractured jaw and questions once he made it to the hospital.
“When I woke up a few days later and that was my first reaction," Calhoun said. "I was like, ‘What is going on? Get these tubes out of my throat.’ It wasn’t a good scene."
Calhoun, who said he doesn’t remember much about being hit, has only watched the replay once.
“I did see the video one time and every time someone tries to show me the video, I keep away from it. I don’t really want to see it again,” Calhoun said.
Instead, he prefers to take a swing at the future. Calhoun is hitting again, and after five weeks of a soft-food-only diet, he’s once again enjoying a good steakhouse.
“That was on Easter Sunday. I got Nick and Sam’s, a steak from there and it was really good. That was the first time,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun said he's back to 100% after he had a steel plate inserted into his jaw. He still feels numbness from the middle of his right cheek down to the middle of his chin. Doctors told him that lack of sensation could last for the next six months.
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As for what happens the next time the 25-year-old steps into the batter's box in a real game?
“I’ve always been the guy that was confident that I am able to put a good swing on the ball, so I think like from my mentality I think I’m going to get back in the box and it’s going to be everything back to normal again. I don’t think I’ll fear anything or be timid about it at all,” Calhoun said. “It is weird to say, but I mean it’s a blessing in disguise that (the injury) happened at the time that it did. Whenever we (Major League Baseball) get started, I’ll be able to go from Day 1 and there won’t be any setbacks.”