Via Bill Madden -
All his life, Jason Marquis, Staten Island product via Brooklyn, had waited for this experience — waited and wondered what it would be like for a kid from the boroughs, who grew up a Yankee fan, to start a game at Yankee Stadium.
Never did he dream what a maelstrom of emotions he would be feeling when the opportunity finally availed itself Wednesday night — a night in which he left nearly 50 tickets for his friends and family, including his wife, Debbie, herself a Staten Island product, and their 7-year-old daughter, Reese, who, a month earlier, had been given a “50-50” chance to live by doctors at the Staten Island University trauma center after suffering a serious injury in a bicycle accident.
The 33-year-old Marquis — who was last seen on a major league diamond last August in Arizona, limping off the field an inning after a line drive off the bat of the Mets’ Angel Pagan had broken his leg — was finishing up spring training with the Twins in Fort Myers when he got a call from home informing him that Reese had had an accident on her bike and that doctors were furiously trying to save her life from internal bleeding.
It turned out she had fallen on the handlebars and suffered a laceration of her liver. She eventually lost 3½ pints of blood.
For the next nine days, she was under sedation as the doctors required four surgeries to close her wound — at one point she suffered a collapsed lung — before she finally was able to breathe on her own.
Ever so slowly, Reese began to heal, but by now the Twins had broken camp and the season was underway. Instead of going with them, Marquis, who signed a one-year, $3 million contract to be their fifth starter, was sent to their Double-A farm team in New Britain, allowing him a close commute to Staten Island to be with Reese in her recovery.
“Never mind the pitching,: Twins GM Terry Ryan told him. “You’re a father first. Take care of your daughter.”
This is some story. Always good to remember that ball players are people too. And, their life is not always one big rock concert.