Cavemen's Romanin out for season after collision with skydiver

Posted: Jul. 23, 2013 1:24 pm Updated: Aug. 6, 2013 1:24 pm

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 Clemens Field.

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.


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