Chicago Tribune - A man described as a former “semi-professional ball player” is suing a west suburban batting cage complex after a baseball allegedly struck him in the head and permanently damaged his left eye. Michael Rhoades was in the batting cages at Stella’s Sports Complex in Lyons in March 2011 when a baseball traveling an estimated 80 to 90 mph hit him in the head, said his lawyer, Joseph Curcio. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court. The suit contends Stella’s negligently designed the batting cages, failed to take precautionary measures to protect patrons from “errant” baseballs and didn’t warn batters of potential damages from wayward balls.

The owners of Stella’s could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night. According to the lawsuit and Curcio, Rhoades was practicing his batting when an individual from an adjoining cage hit the baseball that struck him. Rhoades, a semi-professional ball player, suffered permanent injuries and had his left eyeball removed, Curcio said. Curcio said Rhoades continues to play baseball, but with a “significant disability and is not an effective player today as he once was.”

Hey sometimes bad news is good news. Take this semi-pro baseball player for example. Yeah it totally sucks he took an 80 mph fastball straight to the dome and had his fucking eyeball removed. That’ll ruin your entire week, no question about it. But chances are if he couldn’t get out the way of a machine tossing 80 at the cages he’d have a real tough time with an actual pitcher cranking it up to 95 or 100. Way better to just get out of the game now than to steadily climb through the ranks for years and make it to the bigs only to have Justin Verlander or someone go up and in on you and throw 4-seam gas through your entire head. Like I get that it sucks he lost an eye but that’s better than losing a face ya know. Guy got lucky if you ask me.