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Sunday, September 13, 2009

When Greg Walker Fell

From the SI vault, a piece about opening day 1989 in which Chisox first baseman Greg Walker was pinned to the ground in a brawl, a year after he fell to the ground with a seizure (also prior to a July 30, 1988 game against the Angels):
Most of the players who ran to the spot where he had fallen did nothing; many of them were simply terrified to see this large, powerful man writhing helplessly. White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen was the first to try to help; Walker was clutching desperately at his own throat while gasping for air, and Guillen tried to pull his hands away. "He almost killed himself with his own hands," says Guillen. Walker grabbed Guillen by the arm and tossed him away like a doll. "He almost broke my wrist," Guillen says. "I've never been so scared."

"A seizure is a very powerful thing to see." says Angel trainer Rick Smith, who helped steady Walker's head that day. "It's scary to watch somebody go through that, but it's also kind of moving to see all the power coming out of a guy like that." Chicago second baseman Steve Lyons says when he reached Walker "the look on his face was like something from The Exorcist." Lyons ran into the visiting clubhouse to call for an ambulance. "When I got back on the field, he still wasn't breathing."

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