The Minor League Game of the Week

Nick Green ranks #8 on the new Top 10 Prospects Report.

April 26, 2007 … The Arkansas Travelers host the Tulsa Drillers in an early-season Texas League contest.

Travs starting pitcher Nick Green, recently ranked #8 on the Top 10 Prospects Report, shows why he’s worked his way into the top prospect rankings with authoritative analysts. In seven innings, Nick allowed no runs, only one hit, struck out five and walked one.

There’s another subplot to this story that wasn’t evident at the time.

Tulsa starter Jonathan Asahina took a line drive in the face in the 5th inning, suffering what was eventually diagnosed as a fractured skull. He didn’t appear in a game until August 4. Travs broadcaster Phil Elson calls the injury the most frightening he’d seen in six years of broadcasting … but that would only last until July 22.

When the Drillers returned in mid-July to Dickey-Stephens Park, they had a new hitting coach, Mike Coolbaugh. He’d joined the team on July 3, replacing coach Orlando Merced. In the 9th inning of the July 22 game, Coolbaugh was coaching first base. A line drive foul struck him in the neck, killing him almost instantly.

So this game serves as a prologue for an even greater tragedy yet to come.

A reminder that you can donate to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund, which supports his wife and two children.

Because of Coolbaugh’s fatal injury, major league general managers voted on November 8 to require base coaches to wear helmets starting in 2008.

Click Here to listen to the April 26 game. You need Windows Media Player to listen.

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