Dave Clark, injured in a scary crash with Pittsburgh Pirates teammate Jacob Brumfield, says he blacked out before his head rammed violently into the outfield wall.
Clark broke his left collarbone, badly loosened a tooth and sustained various cuts as he and Brumfield slammed into each other at full speed while chasing a fly ball Tuesday against Atlanta.
“It shook me up a little bit to watch the replay of it tonight,” Clark said Wednesday. “I might be reluctant to go into the wall again the next time. But Jake and I are aggressive outfielders, and we both wanted to make the play. If he didn’t make the play, I was going to.”
Although Clark didn’t move for nearly 10 minutes, the Pirates’ medical staff said Tuesday he never passed out. But, after watching the replays, Clark is convinced he did.
“I think now I actually did lose consciousness,” he said. “I don’t remember hitting the wall at all.”
Brumfield required 15 stitches for facial and mouth cuts and also bruised a thigh, but was not placed on the disabled list. He accompanied the Pirates to Philadelphia, but probably won’t play again until this weekend in New York, manager Jim Leyland said.
Clark was treated and released Tuesday night from Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Even if he returns in 6-8 weeks, as projected, only a few weeks of the season would be left.
“But I feel it’s not going to take as long as people anticipate,” said Clark, a part-time outfielder hitting .314. “Hopefully, I can be out there again before the season is over. This is the first time in my career I’ve ever been hurt, and I hope I can bounce back quickly.”
Clark said he “wasn’t as sore as I thought I’d be” upon awakening Wednesday. Clark is a former Olympic boxing hopeful, and pitching coach Ray Miller speculates his neck strength might have saved his life as his head slammed grotesquely into the wall.
Midre Cummings, who began the season as the Pirates’ starting right fielder, was recalled from Triple-A Calgary to replace Clark.