Former Cal Poly star pitcher loses right eye

July 1, 2016
Matt Imhof

Matt Imhof

Former Cal Poly ace and current minor league pitcher, Matt Imhof, lost his right eye Tuesday, four days after a freak accident during a stretching exercise. It is unclear whether his baseball career will continue.

The accident occurred on June 25 while Imhof was using a rubber resistance band in his team’s workout room. The mounted brace broke off the band and hit Imhof in the face, according to a Cal Poly news release.

Imhof, 22, detailed the accident and the medical treatment he has received in a post on his Instagram account.

The pitching prospect stated a piece of metal him in the eye and head, breaking his nose and fracturing two orbital bones. Imhof lost sight in his right eye immediately.

“That night, the doctors informed me that the damage to my eye was extreme and essentially that my eye had been crushed like a grape,” Imhof wrote.

After being taken to the emergency room, Imhof was transferred to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Doctors informed him they would do everything possible to reconstruct his eye, but in all likelihood, he would never regain his sight.

Imhof underwent one round of surgery but did not regain vision in his right eye. After discussions with his family and doctors, he decided his best chance to live a normal life was to have his eye removed and a prosthetic one put in, Imhof said.

Imhof pitching for Cal Poly

Imhof pitching for Cal Poly

Nonetheless, Imhof stated in the Instagram post that he is doing well.

“I just wanted to write this message to let everyone know that even though I suffered some bad luck, I’m not dead. I’m gonna be alright, I’m gonna persevere, and I’m gonna succeed. It takes more than this to bring me down.”

Imhof pitched at Cal Poly from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, he was Cal Poly’s ace on the most winning team in the program’s history.

The Philadelphia Phillies then selected Imhof in the second round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Imhof received a $1.2 million signing bonus and has since been pitching in the Phillies organization.

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Oh Matt, though you may have suffered blindness in one eye, you will gain more insight than most…and that is an immeasurable gift.

God bless you.

Matt: Although this story breaks my heart I know that you will bounce back. Know that your attitude and perseverance makes us realize your greatness. This is a temporary setback … You have much left to accomplish. Stay strong !!!

What a great attitude he has. He will definitely overcome this setback.

Oh man, that’s gonna be a costly suit and settlement for someone.