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Jason Heyward hit in the head by Jon Niese pitch (Video)

Jason-Heyward-hit-in-face

Jason-Heyward-hit-in-face-1Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was hit in the head by a pitch during a game against the New York Mets on Wednesday afternoon. A fastball got away from Mets pitcher Jon Niese in the sixth inning, and it appeared to catch a piece of Heyward’s helmet before hitting him in jaw area.

Heyward was bleeding from the mouth before he being pulled from the game. Fortunately, he was able to walk off under his own power. He grabbed his face and immediately went to the ground after being hit.

Had Heyward not managed to turn away at the last second, the damage could have been much worse. Seeing a batter get hit in the head with a pitch is one of the most frightening things in sports, and it never gets any easier to watch. Here’s hoping Heyward has a speedy recovery and was able to avoid significant injury. Here’s another look at the play in full speed:

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GIFs via The Score

Adam Jones, Jason Heyward to wear special cleats on Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day will be celebrated throughout the majors on Sunday, and two young African-American outfielders have a special tribute planned. Adam Jones of the Orioles and Jason Heyward of the Braves are two of the players to wear the cleats pictured above to honor the man who broke MLB’s color barrier. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal says Curtis Granderson will also wear special cleats. Granderson’s cleats will be auctioned with the proceeds going to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Heyward tweeted that the cleats are the Nike Griffey Jr. Swingman model spikes. He also noted that the color is light blue and yellow in honor of Robinson’s alma mater, UCLA.

Heyward called wearing the cleats an “honor and a pleasure,” while Jones termed it “a true honor.”

We’ve been upset with clothing companies in the past for using sensitive holidays to try and market new shoes, but there’s nothing not to like about this. This is an awesome tribute to Jackie Robinson.

Photo via @MLB

Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward-Proof Spring Training Cars with ‘Heyward Tents’

Jason Heyward was one of the most hyped-up players in baseball last season and he did not disappoint. The 21-year-old outfielder blasted a three-run home run to deep right field off Carlos Zambrano in his first career at-bat, and that paved the way for an All-Star selection. Unfortunately for Heyward his season was derailed by a thumb injury and he ended up with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs with an .849 OPS.

The legend of Jason Heyward began for most people in Spring Training last year when the slugger famously dented and shattered windows of Braves employees’ cars with his prodigious bombs in batting practice. A year later, the Braves have learned their lesson. The team has constructed tents to shield the cars in the parking lot beyond the right field wall of their facility, as Braves reporter David O’Brien pointed out:

For comparison, here’s a picture of how it looked last year:

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Buster Posey Over Jason Heyward for Rookie of the Year Was Easy Call

The tally for rookie of the year voting balloting came in Monday and, shockingly, for the first time in recent memory, the East Coast sporting bias did not rule the day. The National League award went to San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, the spark plug for the eventual World Series champions. The American League trophy went to Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who broke the rookie save record with 40 and helped his team reach the World Series.

Although the credibility of all postseason awards took a blow with the preposterous selection of Derek Jeter as the Gold Glove winner for the second straight year, Posey and Feliz were the obvious choices for ROY. And that was despite the tremendous media pressure — ESPN included — for the honor in the senior circuit to go to the young player hyped as the savior of baseball, perhaps the next Hank Aaron, Jason Heyward.

Heyward had a terrific season, batting .277 with 18 home runs, 77 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, but he was not the best rookie in the National League this year. That distinction belonged to Buster Posey by far.

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