One of my odder Little League experiences was the cup check, in which all-star game officials checked to see if players were wearing their mandatory athletic cups by lining everyone up, and lightly tapping their areas with a baseball bat. Uncomfortably Freudian? Sure. But no one ended up like Adrian Beltre.
As we mentioned in Speed Read, Beltre took one for the team in an unfortunate place on Aug. 14 against the White Sox, deftly fielding a ground ball with his crotch, which was not adorned with a cup. The result was a severely contused testicle, or a torn testicle, depending on which report one reads. And it may have been even worse than it sounds, because when asked on Monday how it felt when it happend, Beltre said this:
After watching pitcher Nick Blackburn of the Minnesota Twins try to join the MMA frenzy Sunday by taking a batted ball off the schnozz, someone must have said aloud at Baggiedome, “Why isn’t the man with the bloody jersey sprawled on the mound area wearing any protective gear?” (That, or “How much blood does the human body hold, anyway?”)
No Nutty Buddy could have saved Andy Freeman of Eastview High (Apple Valley, MN) when he took a wrist shot to the groin in a JV hockey game last January. His protective cup was no match for rubber fired in fury. He left the game and made a beeline for the hospital. All in all, it would be safe to assume this was not Andy’s favorite day on the planet.
This assumption became rather suspect, though, when tests revealed a cancerous tumor in his left testicle. That’s when his hockey mates rallied around him. After the surgery two days later to remove the tumor, Andy returned to the ice to find his teammates sporting testicular cancer awareness stickers on their helmets. That takes balls, gentlemen.
EX-MLB PITCHERS HAS THE BALLS TO SHOW CUP STRENGTH: Former major league pitcher Mark Littell is sure his new athletic cup protects players so well, he’s willing to risk the family jewels for it:
Littell is the designer (and guinea pig) of the Nutty Buddy athletic supporter. After spending nine seasons with the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals, he says he concocted the new equipment while working with other pitchers during spring training.Unlike your other run-of-the-mill manhood protectors, Littell says his brand is more comfortable, since it’s anatomically correct. He further describes his Buddy as “wider, deeper and full of curves.” (Insert your own joke here.)
Under the tasteful tagline “Protecting the Boys,” Littell has christened the various Nutty Buddy sizes with manly monikers, like “Hammer”, “Boss Hogg“….er, “Boss” and “Hog”, and for the ample gentleman, the XL ‘Mongo‘.The cups are a bit pricey, going for $19.95 each. But what red-blooded, all-American he-man wouldn’t want to pay 20 bucks to see a guy get pummeled between the legs?