SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Outfielder David Dahl, a rising Martin Maldonado Kids Jersey
star in the Colorado Rockies' chain, peppers his conversations with the word "sir" when addressing authority figures. It's a courtly and respectful gesture that reflects his Alabama upbringing and validates the notion that he was raised properly.
Dahl's dark beard conceals a countenance that scouts like to refer to as "the good face," and his abundance of tools gives the Rockies hope he's one of several young players who can rescue the organization from its altitude-enhanced haze in a competitive National League West.
It seems everyone in the Colorado organization is convinced a big future awaits Dahl. In the short term, projections about his WAR or the number of All-Star teams he might make are dwarfed by a sense of gratitude that he's still here.
On May 28 last season, while playing center Kent Hrbek Youth Jersey
field for the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats in Connecticut, Dahl was involved in a serious collision at New Britain Stadium. He endured some harrowing moments before his arrival at Hartford Hospital, where emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding yielded to a difficult decision.
Dahl had sustained a Grade 4 laceration of his spleen (with a Grade 5 being the most severe), and he faced two choices: 1) Wait several months for the spleen to heal, miss most or all of the 2015 season and run the risk of suffering a recurrence of the injury on something as innocuous as a dive back into first base; or 2) consent to having the organ removed, a decision that would expedite the rehab process while possibly complicating his life down the road.
Dahl and his family chose the second option, and three days after the collision, surgeons removed the organ via a procedure known as a splenectomy. Dahl was back on the field by mid-July, and he arrived in Arizona this spring with aspirations of reaching the majors sometime this season.
Dahl's strong constitution is evident in his http://www.authenticbrewersshop.com/authentic-22-matt-garza-jersey.html
baseball-viewing habits. The video of the collision is readily available online, and he hasn't shied away from dissecting it.
"I've watched it a good bit," he says. "I look at it and I think, 'Maybe I should have caught it a little earlier.' I got kneed in the perfect spot where it lacerated my spleen, which is kind of crazy. The doctor actually told me at the hospital, 'You were lucky to get here. People can bleed out in the ambulance.' There's a chance I could have bled out if we didn't get there in time. It's pretty scary."
The experience doubled as a medical primer and a lesson in the fragility of a career, compressed into the tail end of a seemingly innocuous fly ball.
"If you would have told me at the beginning of the year, 'You ruptured your spleen,' I would have been like, 'What's a spleen?"' Dahl says.
The video of the collision packs an emotional wallop in 1 minute, 59 seconds of grainy footage. The play begins with Dahl stationed a few steps deeper than usual because the wind is blowing out toward center field. Altoona's Stetson Allie hits a blooper to center, and as Dahl races in, shortstop Trevor Story charges in from one side and second baseman Juan Ciriaco converges from the other in the classic "Bermuda Triangle" dynamic. Both Dahl and Ciriaco stake their claim to the ball by yelling "I got it!"
As Dahl slides to make the catch, Story peels off and takes a slight hop before coming to a halt. But it's too late for Ciriaco, whose knee collides with Dahl's torso and then his head, spinning him around and sending him sprawling to the turf.
As Dahl lies motionless on the outfield http://www.officialsenatorsstore.com/authentic-16-clarke-macarthur-jersey.html
grass, the ball rolls free. And everyone in the vicinity knows it's bad.
"I remember hearing a big thud," Story says. "I knew Ciri caught him pretty flush in the chest area with his knee. David was just lying there, and you could tell he was hurt. I knew it was serious right away."