Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sanchez missed by mere inches getting clocked in the head by a teammate’s swing of the bat Sunday in a shocking moment caught on video.
Sanchez was walking toward his team’s dugout and passing the on-deck circle where Gilberto Celestino was taking practice swings. Celestino took a game-style cut just as Sanchez strolled past and missed his teammate’s head by a hair.
“He almost hit me, but thank God, nothing happened,” Sanchez said through an interpreter later. “It’s just an accident. It’s fine.”
Gary Sanchez narrowly being the victim of a horrific injury during Sunday’s Minnesota Twins game against the Chicago White Sox.
— Audacy Sports (@AudacySports) September 5, 2022
The near tragedy occurred in the eighth inning of the Twins’ 5-1 victory over the home team Chicago White Sox. Sanchez was at the plate when the White Sox summoned reliever Kendall Graveman from the bullpen. As Graveman warmed up, Sanchez headed toward his team’s dugout to get scouting intel on the pitcher.
“I had a few minutes to go and ask a couple questions about that pitcher,” Sanchez said. “I saw his bat was on his shoulder just standing there in the on-deck circle and so I went back to the dugout and I didn’t notice he was swinging.”
In the video, you can see Sanchez ducking his head after the bat whizzed past him and Celestino leaning back with a frightened look on his face.
“Talk about a hammer to the face,” the announcer said. “Gary Sanchez just about got smoked, wow, by Celestine, That is scary.”.
The Twins are tied with Cleveland for first place in the American League Central division, two games ahead of the White Sox. Sanchez, who struck out after the harrowing incident, is hitting just .213 but has 13 home runs and 45 RBI. Celestino, a centerfielder in his second season, has been starting in the absence of injured Twins star Byron Buxton.