By BLAKE TOPPMEYER
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
HANNIBAL, Mo. – Hannibal Cavemen
infielder Mattingly Romanin is out for the season after Saturday's
bizarre collision with a skydiver during a pregame ceremony at
Romanin said he was evaluated by a
doctor on Monday, and it was determined he had suffered a concussion.
After talking the situation over Monday with Steve Joslyn, Romanin's
coach at Chicago State, they decided it would be best for Romanin to
shut it down for the summer. Romanin also suffered a concussion
during the spring with Chicago State.
"I still have headaches and stuff
like that, and I just feel a little slow," Romanin said during a
phone interview Tuesday. "It is unfortunate that it ended my
season, and I'm a little upset about that, but you know what, it's
just a freak accident and there's nothing we can do now. So I'm still
trying to be upbeat it, and I'm still laughing with everybody."
Romanin said he's been told to avoid
physical activity until he is symptom-free. After that, he'll begin a
progression of physical activities. Romanin said he'll probably take
two or three weeks off from baseball activities.
"I'm just going to try to focus on my
head and my health and try to get back ready to go," he said.
Romanin played in 38 games for
Hannibal, hitting .218 with five doubles and nine RBIs. The Cavemen
have 18 games remaining.
The injury hasn't altered Romanin's
opinion of his experience in Hannibal.
"It was awesome," said Romanin, who
will head to Chicago from Hannibal on Wednesday. "I can't say
anything bad about it. I loved everything – the team, the
environment, and my host family has been great. I don't want to
leave. I love it here, and I feel terrible for having to leave early.
This has been one of the best experiences of my life."
There were three skydivers as part of
the ceremony before Hannibal's game Saturday against Terre Haute.
Romanin, who played shortstop, was standing behind second base in
shallow center field near second baseman Jake Mangler and third
baseman Jerod Smith when a skydiver headed straight for them. Mangler
and Smith peeled out of the way at the last second, but Romanin held
his ground and got kicked in the face by the skydiver.
Romanin said he'd been told by a crew member to stay still and that the skydivers would avoid the players.
After the collision, Romanin remained on the ground for several minutes and was evaluated by medical personnel. He played all nine innings of the game, but by Sunday morning,
he was experiencing headaches.
A video of the incident was captured and posted on YouTube, and sports websites operated by Deadspin, Yahoo! Sports, USA Today, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and others posted stories Sunday that included the video.