Former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans’ life has not been the same after he was struck on the back of the head by the bat of former major leaguer Jose Offerman in 2007.
“I didn’t get to leave the game on my own terms,” Nathans told the jury in US District Court in Bridgeport, Conn., via The Boston Globe. “He took a bat to my head and ended my career.”
Nathans tried to stop Offerman from charging the mound during an Aug. 2007 game against the Long Island Ducks but instead was hit by Offerman’s bat on the right side of the head. Nathans said he still has symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
“I do therapy two days a week, and there’s no foreseeable end to that seven years out,” Nathans said.
Despite the symptoms that Nathans said he suffers each day, Offerman claims he never swung the bat at Nathans during the incident.
“He was just in a state of denial, and it was clear to everyone, including the jury,” Nathans said. “He never once acknowledged swinging the bat. Nobody believes that.”
Any chance that Nathans had at reaching the big leagues was shattered after the attack. Nathans instead went to the University of Maine School of Law before taking the bar in both Maine and Massachusetts in 2012.
“I’m lucky,” Nathans said of his new career. “I understand that. I’m lucky I didn’t get killed that night. I’m lucky I had another option of going to law school. I’m lucky I had people that believed in me and gave me support and jobs, a great support system in my wife, family, and great friends.”
Offerman played 15 seasons in the majors, including three-plus with the Boston Red Sox from 1999 to 2002. A two-time All-Star, he now manages the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz of the Mexican League.
Photo via Twitter/@jtuohey21