Skydiver Hits Player During Parachute Landing at Baseball Game (Video)

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 09:40 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A skydiver accidentally hit an amateur baseball player in the face while parachuting into Samuel Clemens Field in Hannibal, Mo.. before a Prospect League baseball game Saturday, ending the season of the 20-year-old shortstop.

Mattingly Romanin, who led Chicago State in hitting this past collegiate season before joining the summer league, told The Associated Press Wednesday he was disappointed that he could not play the rest of the summer because of the bizarre mishap that was captured on YouTube.

"Obviously I was a little upset and kind of frustrated about how the whole situation developed," said Romanin. "It was a freak accident. It happens. There's nothing really I can do, I've just got to move on and make sure I'm healthy and ready to play."

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Romanin and his Hannibal Cavemen teammates, made up of college players, were on the field as the national anthem was played, followed by three local skydivers jumping onto Clemens Field, about 100 miles north of St. Louis.

After the first skydiver landed as expected, the second dropped too close to a group of players standing behind second base, including Romanin, second baseman Jake Mangler and third baseman Jerod Smith.

Romanin said members of the skydiving crew told them to stand still because the divers would miss them. He said he tried to duck at the last moment, but it was too late as the skydiver hit him near the temple of his head knocked him over.

Cavemen general manager John Civitate said one of divers was supposed to arrive with an American flag at the end of "The Star Spangled Banner," but the jumpers' timing was off and they were late.

"It's all fun and games until the skydiver takes out your starting shortstop," tweeted Hannibal teammate Josh Tol, a pitcher from Rockhurst University, after in incident, according to

The AP reported that more bad news came later when Romanin's headaches worsened overnight and doctors informed him he suffered a concussion. Romanin decided to call it a season after consulting with his coach at Chicago State.

This was Romanin first season with Hannibal, according to the team's website.  He is a native of Burlington, Ontario.

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