Spring Training Update: Encountering a Legend

Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, is posting updates from Chicago White Sox spring training in Arizona. Rush is the preferred hospital of the White Sox and home to the team physicians.

Wednesday, March 9: Today was a really special day! The players had a lighter day in terms of workouts, but they had a truly awe-inspiring team meeting that I had the opportunity to sit in on. They were paid a visit by member of Athletes for Hope, an organization whose mission it is “To educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.”

This great organization empowering athletes was founded by Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr. The members of Athletes for Hope led a group discussion, which was inspiring to me, and it was directed towards professional athletes.

The thing however, that made this a truly special event was that Athletes for Hope was represented by one of its founders, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. He was accompanied by his family and took the time to pose for a photo shoot with the Chicago White Sox team and then pose for individual photos for anyone that wanted, myself included (please see attached photo). This was an unbelievable opportunity, and I feel lucky to have been able to be a part of it. Continue reading

Spring Training Update: A Day of Physicals

Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, is posting updates from Chicago White Sox spring training in Arizona. Rush is the preferred hospital of the White Sox and home to the team physicians.

Sunday, March 6: Woke bright and early to get to the ballpark at 6 a.m. for physicals. Today all the minor league coaches, pitchers and catchers reported to start their spring training. These players comprise all the pitchers and catchers working their way up the ranks through the White Sox Minor League and player development programs. Many of the players had prior “spring training” experience, having been here at Camelback Ranch (the White Sox spring training home) last year and some with other teams. There were also a lot of players who were taking in the experience for the very first time. You could sense their excitement and nervousness.

The physicals are set up like a well oiled machine. The players cycle through a few stations before presenting for their medical and orthopedic examinations. Once these are complete they are free to get started with their workouts and drills. We made short order of the 45 or so physicals thanks in part to a team of four primary care sports medicine physicians, myself included, and four orthopedic surgeons. After this I was free to go out to the practice facilities and take in batting and fielding practice while enjoying the Arizona sun. Continue reading