before and after ryan freel: how mlb stepped up to concussions

After Freel was the first MLB player diagnosed with CTE, head safety in a baseball remains a health concern

October 2, 2014

by Timothy Bella  

Watching Ryan Freel play defense on a baseball field has been likened to “watching crash dummies in a seat belt test” and “bungee-jumping without the bungee.”

In Cincinnati, where he spent most of his eight seasons in the big leagues, Freel’s No. 6 jersey became synonymous to fans, teammates and opponents with playing the game the right way. That meant crashing into walls, sliding headfirst, jumping and diving to get to the ball, doing whatever was needed to make the play. The constant headaches, blurry vision and spotty memory were there, too. But that was baseball for Freel.

Al Behrman/AP