A note about Luis Salazar

Luis Salazar was involved in a horrible incident during an Atlanta Braves spring training game  The latest news:

Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar has lost an eye after he was struck in the face by a line drive while watching a spring training game.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that doctors were unable to save Salazar’s left eye after the accident, which happened March 9. The former major league player is otherwise recovering from his injuries and expects to manage Lynchburg of the Class A Carolina League this season.

The 54-year-old Salazar was standing against the railing on the top step of the dugout during a game between the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals when Brian McCann fouled a ball in his direction. Salazar was unable to get out of the way and fell headfirst back into the dugout.

The game was stopped for almost 20 minutes so Salazar could be airlifted to an Orlando hospital. He regained consciousness on the way and was treated for multiple facial fractures, but doctors were unable to save his left eye.

“In the big picture, and that’s what we have to keep in mind, this is a good outcome,” Wren said. “He’s alive.”

Salazar has ties to Appleton baseball. Here is a look at the 1978-1987 All-Decade Team position players article.

Luis Salazar was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Royals in 1973. But he would only appear in two games for the Gulf Coast League Royals in 1974 before being released. The native of Venezuela would not resurface in the States until 1976 with the Pirates organization. He would put up solid numbers as he climbed through the minors, reaching Triple A in 1980.

Pittsburgh would deal him to the Padres during the season, and he would make his Major League debut for the Padres later that season. He was a pinch runner in a 20 inning, 6 hour 17 minute marathon game against the Astros on August 15, 1980.

Salazar would stay with the Padres until 1985, when he was traded to the White Sox in a deal for former Foxes pitcher LaMarr Hoyt. He appeared in 21 games for the Appleton Foxes in 1986 on a rehab stint. He hit .203 with 2 HR in 79 at bats in the Midwest League. He was released by teh Sox after the season and he returned to the Padres. He would also play for the Tigers and Cubs (not to mention a third stint with the Padres) before hanging up the cleats after the 1992 season. Salazar hit 144 doubles, 33 triples, and 94 home runs in his career while batting .261.

Appleton baseball wishes Luis Salazar well.

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