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Midland Park Pitcher Hailed As Hero After Being Hit In Head With Ball

Ralph Warner was in good spirits Monday after suffering a broken skull and two brain bleeds during a championship game Saturday in Maryland. Photo Credit: Nicky Antonucci Warner
The closing pitcher suffered a broken skull and brain hemorrhaging while pitching for the Midland Park Panthers during a championship game over the weekend. Photo Credit: Nicky Antonucci Warner
Ralph Warner of Midland Park waits for the first game to begin. Photo Credit: Nicky Antonucci Warner

An 11-year-old Midland Park boy who was struck in the head with a batted ball while pitching in a major tournament in Maryland over the weekend is being hailed the hero of the game.

Ralph Warner, a fifth grader at the Highland School, was named the "Player of the Game" as he recovered in the ICU with a broken skull and two brain bleeds after Saturday's game at the Cal Ripken Baseball Tournament in Aberdeen, MD.

Ralph's team (11U) was the first in Midland Park history to make it to the champion section of the tournament. The game ended in a rain delay.

"My guy, feeling better💕💕💕 #34," Nicky Antonucci Warner wrote on Facebook above a photo of young Ralph Warner giving the thumbs-up from his hospital bed.

During his stay in the Intensive Care Unit at John Hopkins Hospital, there was only one thing that seemed to calm Ralph's nerves: The New York Mets.

"His heart was racing in the MRI, so the doctors asked what to play for him music-wise," his mom told Daily Voice. "I said, 'Put on the Mets highlights on YouTube.'"

Within seconds, Ralph's heart rate stabilized.

And as of Monday morning, so did his condition.

Back home in Midland Park, Ralph's loved ones, teachers and friends sent prayers and words of encouragement.

"Sending prayers. 🙏🙏 Coach is thinking about you Buddy! You are such a tough kid! Get better soon!⚾️🙏🏻⚾️"

"My husband and I are Midland Park natives and we're well-aware of how this town reacts when people are in need," Warner said.

"Although it's overwhelming, we are so grateful."

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