Due in large part to my own youthful ignorance, and an early overexposure to Cecil Fielder playing the position, I always thought first base was reserved for guys that were either heavy set or a defensive liability. It wasn’t until I was 13-years old and manning the outfield for my youth baseball team that I truly realized the defensive responsibility that comes along with playing first. Our coach, eager to repeat as Provincial champions, scouted a kid with an explosive bat from the next town over to join our team. We played the same position. Our new players’s prep school ready abilities rendered me expendable in the outfield; I was moved to first base.
A pair of first basemen, Yonder Alonso and Mat Gamel, provided all the visual evidence necessary to remind us that first base is not without occupational hazards on Tuesday night.
Rickie Weeks popped up the fourth pitch of the game to the right side, just over Yonder (see what I did there?) and Alonso made the obligatory effort to chase down the tailing fly ball. Alas, the ball would land just out of the portly first baseman’s reach in the seats. Alonso’s effort led him to flip over the short wall along as he attempted to snag the ball:
Not to be outdone, Milwaukee’s Mat Gamel appeared to twist his knee while chasing down a foul ball in the bottom half of the first inning.
Both Alonso and Gamel would remain in the game following these incidents, although Gamel was lifted for a pinch hitter in the second inning. He will be evaluated on Wednesday.