Red Sox catcher David Ross works to rethink concussions with UPMC


The physical and mental toll a concussion can take on any athlete, at any level, has received more and more attention in recent years. Almost all sports have moments of impact where the head comes into contact with the ball, the playing surface, or another athlete – that can result in a debilitating concussion.

As the negative long-term effects of concussions are revealed, research into preventing and recuperating from concussions becomes even more important.

In the case of Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross, it wasn’t a single moment of impact, but multiple, that resulted in him missing significant time in 2013. Ross took a pair of foul tips off the mask in a game that left him dazed. Ross tried to get back on the proverbial horse, but his play suffered.

He tried to rationalize it. “In professional sports, everybody’s banged up on that field, nobody feels 100 percent. So, I just thought nothing of it.”

But after a long slump, professionally and personally, Ross’ wife, Hyla, took a stand and the catcher sought treatment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The center has created a website,, to educate the public and raise awareness of concussion treatment possibilities.

UPMC’s approach looks to demystify this “invisible injury” by helping people assess it and treat the symptoms.

With Ross, after recognizing his injury and taking a couple of months off to deal with the symptoms with help from UPMC, he earned an incredible reward.The veteran had a big walk-off hit and was behind the plate for the final out of the 2013 World Series. What’s more, he was able to celebrate the achievement with his wife and children.

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