Tulsa pitcher beaned in same park where base coach died

LITTLE ROCK BALLPARK DANGEROUS PLACE FOR DRILLERS: It was a tragic scene last Sunday at Dickey Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was hit in the head by a foul ball and later died from the injury.

Mike Coolbaugh Dickey Stephens Park


Eerily enough, a similar scenario played out a few months before in the same park between the same two teams.

The NEW YORK TIMES relates that back on April 26, Drillers pitcher Jon Asahina was hit in the head by a line drive from a batter for the Arkansas Travelers. The smack fractured his skull and put him in the hospital for a week.

However, Asahina was able to throw out the runner at first base and walk off the field under his own power.

Tulsa Drillers


After postponing Monday night’s game, the Drillers team decided to continue their season in memory of their coach. Tulsa began the heeling process with a 12-6 win over Wichita, with the game’s radio broadcast presented without commercial interruption in honor of Coolbaugh.