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Gary Sanchez nearly struck in head by swinging on-deck batter

CHICAGO — Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sánchez was feeling fortunate Sunday after he nearly walked into a major injury.

The former Yankees catcher was almost struck in the head by a full swing by teammate Gilberto Celestino during Minnesota’s 5-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox.

The incident occurred when Chicago brought in Kendall Graveman to face Sánchez with two outs in the eighth inning. Sánchez was heading back to the dugout to learn more about the reliever when he was almost hit by Celestino in the on-deck circle.

Celestino missed Sánchez’s face by mere inches.

“I had a few minutes to go and ask a couple questions about that pitcher,” Sánchez said through a translator. “I saw his bat was on his shoulder just standing there in the on-deck circle and so I went back to the dugout and I didn’t notice he was swinging.”

Gary Sanchez was oblivious while walking by the on-deck circle.
Gary Sanchez was oblivious while walking by the on-deck circle.
Screengrab, Twitter

Sánchez lowered his head after the bat passed, and Celestino leaned back with an incredulous look on his face.

“He almost hit me, but thank God, nothing happened,” Sánchez said. “It’s just an accident. It’s fine.”

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