Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dick Vitale hit by foul ball at Tampa Bay Rays game

Dick Vitale, a Rays season-ticket holder, looks at the baseball after he was hit by a foul ball in the first inning.

Associated Press

Dick Vitale, a Rays season-ticket holder, looks at the baseball after he was hit by a foul ball in the first inning.

ST. PETERSBURG — College basketball analyst Dick Vitale, a Sarasota resident and longtime Rays season-ticket holder, got a scare when he was struck in the stomach area by a foul ball on the first pitch of Thursday's game.

Vitale, sitting in the second row on the aisle to the right of the third-base dugout, said he was okay, just bruised. He iced it and stayed to watch the rest of the game.

"It was scary. It was a bullet," said Vitale, who turned 71 on Wednesday. "I've been here for 11 years; never had a line drive come to me. Maybe a popup.

"I don't know how that happened."

The Hall of Fame broadcaster was hosting a couple who had bid money through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program to attend a game with him. He let them sit in the front row and was talking to them when the ball was hit by Blue Jays left-hander Fred Lewis.

"ESPN called me," Vitale said. "Rece Davis, the host of Baseball Tonight, called me up: 'You okay? We were just watching. We're going to have you on."

Vitale didn't leave empty-handed. He said Jays manager Cito Gaston sent over a signed ball. So did the Rays, one with autographs of manager Joe Maddon and special assistant Rocco Baldelli along with a message:

"Dick, Keep your eyes on the field. Ha. You're always our favorite. All the best."

Dick Vitale hit by foul ball at Tampa Bay Rays game 06/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. DeSean Jackson's 'Ferrari engine' brings him to first Bucs camp


    TAMPA — When the Bucs signed Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson in the offseason, QB Jameis Winston said his new target was "a Bentley with a Ferrari engine," a nod to Jackson's 5-foot-10 frame but elite speed.

     Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson sits for an interview while on camera with NFL Films.   HBO's NFL Films production of "Hard Knocks" documented a day in the life of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson with his family at their home in Tampa on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
  2. What you should know about new Rays slugger Lucas Duda


    The MLB trade deadline is a few days away, but the Rays aren't procrastinating. Earlier today, they swung a deal for the Mets' Lucas Duda, sending minor league right-hander Drew Smith

    Slugger Lucas Duda will add some (more) power to the Rays lineup.
  3. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets


    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.
  4. Bucs do their best to stiff-arm the expectations


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team giving the Heisman trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    As always, the key to the Bucs success will be Jameis Winston. He still is only 23, but a charismatic leader that this team and this town believes deeply in. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations


    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.


    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]