Every Sunday, Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld asks the subject of one of his photos to explain what’s happening in the shot.
Up this week: Brian Johnson of the Lowell Spinners, who was struck in the eye socket by a line drive by Hudson Valley's Joey Pickard on the the second pitch he threw in the first inning of a Futures At Fenway game on Aug. 18. Johnson suffered multiple orbital fractures to the left side of his face.
Said Johnson: “I was really looking forward to pitching at Fenway. It was awesome, warming up in the pen. The best part about it was as I walked up to the mound the first step I took my song ‘Bad Company,’ came on, and I had a big smile on my face. The second pitch I left a fastball over the middle and it came back right where it left. I saw it the last second. I tried to get my glove up and looking at the video I missed it by a three or four inches. To be honest, I didn’t feel it, as weird as that sounds. It hit me, my ears started ringing and I put hand over my eye because I felt blood. I didn’t feel a thing. I think I was in shock, to be honest. I was looking for the ball, but I couldn’t see the ball, so I looked at the dugout and I saw them running out so I went down to my knees. When I was on the ground the trainers were talking to me and I was literally making jokes. Like ‘Oh I left that one over the middle.’ I remember waving to the fans. I was in the hospital and the doctor told me (it was the anniversary of Tony Conigliaro’s beaning). That’s unbelievable. Ironic, huh? They gave me some pain medicine but I don’t take it. All I take is one Tylenol a day and that’s it. No surgery, I got a black eye and it looks like my wisdom teeth got taken out but other than that, I’m looking good.
“I’ve been hit before. My first outing this season I got through the first inning pretty smoothly. In the second inning, the second guy hit a slider right back at me and got me in the calf. I didn’t want to leave but they said I had to for precautionary reasons. In college my sophomore year pitching (for the University of Florida) in the SEC tournament against Georgia I threw a curveball in the dirt. I didn’t see the runner break. Mike Zunino our catcher threw and I ducked down looking at first base and the ball hit me right in the back of the head. On that one I went unconscious. Oh and I broke my nose when I was 12 year old sliding into second base. The left fielder threw it and the second baseman missed it and it hit me right in the face.
“I’m positive I want to do this (for a living). I’m going to keep coming back. This is right in the point of my career where I could use some good luck to get to the major leagues. Let’s hope I get some good luck starting now. “