The Red Sox outfielder used contact lenses for three or four years, but that caused problems when he was trying to play.
"[The lense] would always dry up on me, roll in the back of my eye," Sweeney said. "When I'd be in the outfield, sometimes it'd fall out and I couldn't see. One time my bags didn't come in, and I didn't have my contacts, so I couldn't hit. Then at the plate, I'd have blurry vision plus wind and all the elements. I just hated it."
So, in 2009, Sweeney decided to have laser eye surgery.
The result has been Sweeney's best season yet. Sweeney played a larger role in the Athletics' attack in 2009 with a .293 batting average and a career-high six home runs and 53 RBIs.
"I don't have those problems anymore," Sweeney said. "I don't have to worry about contacts."
Sweeney still has annual visits with his eye doctor, usually right before spring training, to make sure his hand-eye coordination is right where it should be.
"I remember times I'd be standing in center field and I'd have my contact roll in the back of my eye and I couldn't see," Sweeney said. "I'd recommend [laser surgery]. Nowadays, they've come a long way in the way that they do that sort of stuff."
The pinpoint eyesight has let Sweeney show off his defensive prowess in the Red Sox outfield, including a spectacular diving catch against the Phillies in May.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.