From his perch in the Atlanta Braves infield on May 20, third baseman Chris Johnson heard what sounded to him like the crack of two bats in quick succession. The first was a line drive off the bat of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. The second was the ball smashing into the head of an 8-year-old in black shorts and a blue shirt, who was seated in the first row behind first base.
Johnson watched as the boy’s father and a stadium first-aid crew carried him away. After the game, Johnson and catcher Gerald Laird, toting an autographed bat and ball, visited the hospital, where the boy, barely awake, was hooked up to monitors and an intravenous drip.