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Scorecard
Edited by Jack McCallum and Christian Stone
July 03, 1995
A Week They'd Sooner Forget
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July 03, 1995

Scorecard

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Perhaps you recall Chris Brown, the former San Francisco Giant third baseman who begged out of a game in the mid-1980s complaining of a strained eyelash. Or Lionel Simmons, the Sacramento King forward who in '91 developed tendinitis in his right wrist while playing Nintendo. Now word comes of the plight of the unidentified Philadelphia Phillie who in 1993 suffered the first documented case of Sunflower Seed Finger (SSF), a digital injury caused by improperly dipping into a sunflower-seed packet.

During spring training of that season the Phillie had been complaining of a pain in his left hand so sharp that he had difficulty gripping a bat. Team doctor Phillip Marone and trainer Jeff Cooper monitored the player's activities and after a few weeks determined the cause of the injury: The player used his first three fingers to fetch the seeds while using his pinkie to spread the packet further open. Often the player would over-extend his pinkie, creating a painful sensation in his hand, which Marone and Griffin, in the most recent newsletter of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, christened SSF.

Neither Marone nor Cooper would divulge the name of the Phillie. If you're curious, however, you might investigate which Phillie is now using the recommended technique of spilling the seeds onto the palm before chewing.

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