Chipper hit in face taking batting practice

Chipper hit in face during BP

ANAHEIM -- By the end of the night, Chipper Jones could laugh about what is definitely the most unusual of the multitude of injuries suffered by Braves players this season.

But after he took a mighty hack during the home run portion of batting practice at Angel Stadium on Friday night, Jones initially thought he lost more than his bid to become the first Major Leaguer since Ted Williams to hit .400.

Jones drove the batting practice pitch up into the front portion of the batting cage and then saw the ball ricochet back directly at his face. When it hit just below his left eye, he bent over in shock and immediately thought about the 9- or 10-year-old kid during his childhood, who had lost his eye when he got hit with a foul ball.

"That's the first thing I thought of," Jones said. "But then I realized it got me just below the eye. I've been sucker-punched there a few times, so I can take it."

After spending nearly three hours in a nearby hospital, where a CT scan showed he hadn't suffered any fractures, Jones returned to Angel Stadium ready to pinch-hit if needed and also laugh about an injury that he never thought he'd incur.

Fortunately for the Braves, it's not one that will keep him out of the lineup for more than one game. He said he'll definitely play on Saturday night.

"If you can't learn to laugh at all the stuff that has gone on here this year, you're going to drive yourself crazy," Jones said at the end of a day during which both John Smoltz and Tom Glavine said that their current injuries wouldn't immediately send them into the world of retirement.

Jones, who is hitting a Major League-high .414, attempted to talk the medical personnel into letting him play Friday's game against the Angels. But when he told them his vision was blurry when objects got close, they sent him to the hospital for further evaluation.

"Head injuries and eye injuries, you can't [take a chance]," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Before Jones returned to the stadium, he had his vision checked. In one eye, he had 20/15 vision and in the other it was 20/14.

"I just have to hope that I don't have a big old fat shiner tomorrow," Jones said.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.