Promising Pitcher Loses Right Eye In Freak Accident At Space Coast Stadium
By Space Coast Daily // July 1, 2016
vision loss in his right eye, two fractured orbital bones and a fractured nose
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – A promising pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies’ Florida State League team has lost his right eye in a freak accident while working out at Space Coast Stadium.
Matt Imhof, 22, of the Clearwater Threshers was exercising with a wall-mounted rubber resistance band following a 5-4 Threshers win over the Brevard County Manatees on June 25 when the band’s mounted base broke away from the wall and struck him in the face.
He suffered vision loss in his right eye, two fractured orbital bones and a fractured nose.
Imhof had surgery at Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where doctors were unable to save his right eye, he wrote on his Instagram account. Doctors removed his damaged eye on June 28 and replaced it with an artificial one.
“Although this injury has been tough it could have been much worse…I’m lucky to still have vision in my left eye…I’m lucky that I didn’t have brain damage…and I’m lucky to be surrounded by the most loving and understanding people in the world,” Imhof wrote.
Imhof was the Phillies’ second-round pick in the 2014 MLB first-year player draft and the 47th overall pick. The 6-foot, 5-inch left-hander out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo signed for a $1.18 million bonus.
Imhof recently was moved to Clearwater’s bullpen after posting a 3.91 ERA in 14 games this season with 48 strikeouts and 43 walks in 53 innings.
Imhof said he wasn’t going to let the injury derail his dreams of success.
“I just wanted to write this message to let everyone know that even though I suffered some bad luck, I’m not dead,” he wrote.
“I’m gonna be alright, I’m gonna persevere, and I’m gonna succeed. It takes more than this to bring me down.”