Beyond the Game: ASU pitcher won't let dad's worst nightmare derail his own career, too
JONESBORO, Ark. (KATV) —
An Arkansas State pitcher is determined to follow in his father's footsteps. He just hopes for a different ending to his own story.
Bo Ritter, a reliever for the Red Wolves, said he leans on his dad, Reggie Ritter. A Malvern native and former Henderson State Reddie, he was once a promising pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.
"Everything clicked and I pitched really, really well until that fateful day on August 7th, 1987, on a Friday night," Reggie Ritter recalled in this 2016 Beyond the Game story.
"I still see the ball. I dream at night sometimes and say the ball was right there. Why didn't I catch it?"
As Ritter previously recalled to Paul Eells in 1992, he was drilled in the chin by a line drive. He missed months after reconstructive surgery. To this day, he has a steel plate in his jaw.
Physically, Ritter lost 30 pounds. Mentally, he lost any edge.
"I think it affected me a lot more than what I admitted to," he said. "Toughest thing I have ever had to do at that time was hang up those spikes and walk away."
Does Bo now fear the same outcome?
"I actually only saw the video one time. I was actually in high school before I saw it. It was kind of weird seeing it for the first time and seeing him laying there," Bo said.
He said he won't let the chance of a comebacker determine his fate, too.
"Obviously that's always a possibility. I know my mom gets really nervous about that type of stuff.
"I've been kind of lucky and I won't even think about anything like that. I just control what I can control and just try to make pitches."