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Sight for SORE EYES
Leigh Montville
November 27, 2000
After his face was crushed by a batted ball in last season's most gruesome play, Boston's Bryce Florie is returning to normal—and not ruling out a comeback
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November 27, 2000

Sight For Sore Eyes

After his face was crushed by a batted ball in last season's most gruesome play, Boston's Bryce Florie is returning to normal—and not ruling out a comeback

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He looks fine. There still is a small swelling on the right side that made a woman tell him the other day, "You have nice high cheekbones." ("Well, on one side I do," he replied.) There is a small scar near his nose, barely noticeable. The major residue of the trauma is the blood behind the retina, but the doctors seem encouraged because much of it has disappeared. If those remaining spots vanish, his vision could return to where it was before Sept. 8. Then again, the spots might stay.

"I can drive, though not as well at night as I did before," he says. "It's a little scary. I can play golf, but not as well. I can work out. Pitching is one thing I have not done. I don't want to try too soon and be disappointed."

How would he feel, back on the mound? Would the 60 feet, six inches to the plate seem closer than before? Would he be scared? He doesn't think he would be, but he does not know. "My brother, Bryan, thinks I should quit," Florie says. "He says, 'What do you have to prove? You made the major leagues. That's what you wanted to do.' I look at it a different way. I'm an athlete. Baseball is what I'm supposed to do."

If he can't play, he's not sure what he will do. College is a possibility. Selling real estate is a possibility. The stock market. Fishing and golf are strong possibilities. He has a year left on his contract, which is guaranteed. He is also covered by a personal Lloyd's of London insurance policy. Money would not be an immediate problem.

The one thing he does know is that he is lucky. He can lead a normal life. He is alive. Hear that sickening sound? See that character on the ground? See the blood? He is that character on the ground. Baseball would be a bonus. "You'd probably be fine if you played," someone suggests. "There's that old thing about lightning never striking twice in the same place."

"Yeah, well lightning also isn't supposed to strike once," the character from the video replies, in real time, real life. "At least I'd never seen it. Until now."

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