Better vision adds competitive edge

Posted on April 23rd, 2007 – 10:00 AM
By Joe Christensen

Tonight, I’ll be covering my first game since undergoing laser-eye surgery five days ago in St. Paul. While preparing this morning, I found a story that, pardon the hideous pun, caught my eye in the Los Angeles Times: Kevin Baxter writes about the quest for baseball players to see 20/20 or better. It includes an interesting anecdote about Coon Rapids native Dan Johnson:

Same thing with Oakland’s Dan Johnson, who accidentally sprayed sunscreen into his right eye last spring and wound up with double vision.

“I used to hit breaking balls — [until] I couldn’t see them,” recalled Johnson, whose batting average plummeted more than 40 points. He didn’t even try to hit curveball pitches, he said. “I would just take them, because I would lose them.”

Johnson did eye exercises during the off-season for up to six hours a day. The improvement showed in spring training, where he hit .294 with 10 walks before he ended up on the disabled list because of a hip injury.

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