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Juan Lara

Posted by Andy on November 28, 2007

News reports abound about the condition of Indians' reliever Juan Lara who was involved in a very serious car accident. Based on the information that alleges significant brain and spine damage for Lara, I'm inclined to guess that his baseball career is over. At this point, I simply hope he is able to live a happy & healthy life.

There have been way too many injuries and deaths in the sports world over the last 1-2 seasons. Baseball has lost Cory Lidle, Josh Hancock, Joe Kennedy, and hopefully will not add Lara to that list. Football has lost Sean Taylor, as well as Darrent Williams at the end of last season. Basketball hasn't lost any active players lately, but has lost several active players including Bobby Phills and Malik Sealy in 2000 and Drazen Petrovic in 1993. Going as far back as 1993, that was the year that MLB also lost Tim Crews and Steve Olin.

It seems to me that the rate of deaths and serious accidents for professional athletes is well above the baseline for the general population. I suppose there are lots of reasons for this, including more leisure time during the off-season, more money for activities like flying and driving sports cars, as well as (very generally speaking) more risk-taking personalities in general.

Anyway--no stats in this post. Just feeling a bit down about this, and sorry for the families out there who have lost loved ones.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Juan Lara”

  1. Just for the sake of completeness, I'd also like to add Dernell Stenson to the list. He was (rather horrifically) murdered while playing in the Arizona Fall League in 2003 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization. Such a shame.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dernell_Stenson
    -j

  2. David in Toledo Says:

    And on the field, Mike Coolbaugh of the Tulsa Drillers, RIP.

  3. Mike Darr of the Padres was killed in an auto accident during spring training in 2002. Sadly, his choice to drive drunk and not wear seat belts cost him his life

  4. Of course the death of every young athlete is very sad, given that these guys are generally in the prime of life and health, with seemingly boundless opportunities in front of them. As a matter of acuracy and perspective, a quick review of some census info suggests that the death rate each year among the general American population age 25-34 is about 0.1% per year, or about one death for every thousand people in that age group. This suggests that if for example, active major leaguers were to suffer the normal American rate for their age, about one active major leaguer would pass away each year (a bit over 1,000 players participate in a major league game each season these days). The actual rate over the years I think has been less than that, which is not really surprising given that pro athletes are likely to be in better health, enjoy better medical care and be financially more secure than average Americans.

  5. Interesting. I wonder what the highest causes of death are among the general population in that age range. I would assume DUI is up there, but heart disease (the #1 killer overall, I believe) is not. Homicide is probably also higher. Maybe it's not so different from athletes...DUI, homicide, and transportation accidents cover most. The only recent deaths I can think of that it doesn't cover are Darryl Kile and Joe Kennedy. Also Steve Bechler and Coolbaugh. But it does cover Lidle, Hancock, Crews, Olin, Darr, Mike Sharperson, Stenson, and others such as Thurman Munson and Roberto Clemente.

  6. Stenson's murderer was just sentenced:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3214704

  7. [...] Here’s a great piece of news buried way down on the sports page: Juan Lara is back with the Cleveland Indians! About a year and a half ago, I posted on this blog about his horrible accident. [...]