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Chiefs' players attempt rescue
Tragedy strikes when umpire collapses in heat
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HUTCHINSON — In the midst of an unthinkable tragedy, Great Bend Chiefs coach Mike Perry exhibited pride in his baseball players.
Two of Perry’s American Legion baseball players attempted a life-saving rescue when the home plate umpire collapsed at Hobart-Detter Field Friday afternoon.
The game was stopped about 1:30 p.m. with three outs left when umpire Eric Shannon fell from an apparent heart attack in 97-degree heat index. Shannon, the father of two children, died Friday from his medical condition.
Shannon paused prior to the final half-inning saying he felt light-headed with the Chiefs trailing the Hays Monarchs 1-0. The Chiefs offered some water and a wet towel while he rested on a bucket near the third-base dugout.
“Then, he collapsed to the ground,” Perry said.
Great Bend Chiefs Logan Perry and Payton Mauler and parent Doug Kaiser performed chest compressions and provided CPR assistance until emergency personnel arrived.
Perry said time appeared suspended while Shannon received assistance.
“It was a surreal moment where you can’t believe what’s happening,” Perry said. “I was very proud of the way the guys handled it. Our boys rallied together when they needed to.”
The players removed Shannon’s umpiring equipment, cleared his airway and began CPR procedures. Mike Perry’s son, Logan, passed a CPR refresher course last week.
“They did everything they could, but you wish you could do more,” Perry said. “Unfortunately, sometimes things are out of our hands.”
Coach Perry said Shannon exhibited an engaging personality.
“Our catcher Payton Mauler loved him. He showed a great strike zone and joked around with the players,” Perry said. “We only knew him for an hour and a half, but you could tell he was a good man.”
Coach Perry said the Hays Monarchs baseball team and Chiefs gathered in the outfield to pray for Shannon’s family.
“It tugs at your heart and you can’t control your emotions,” Perry said. “It’s a life lesson that there are more important things than a baseball game. Our thoughts and prayers go to Eric Shannon’s family.”