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Umpire leaves game at Shea
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08/15/2003 10:22 PM ET
Umpire leaves game at Shea
Klemm sustains head injury during Mets-Rockies game
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The Mets' Jason Phillips (left) holds his broken bat as he and Rockies catcher Charles Johnson look on as home plate umpire Justin Klemm is attended to after being hit with a piece of Phillips' broken bat during the eigth inning. (Karen Vibert-Kennedy/AP)
NEW YORK -- The game between the Mets and Rockies at Shea Stadium was delayed for nearly 20 minutes Friday night after home plate umpire Justin Klemm was hit in the head by a broken bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Jason Phillips came up to the plate with one out and two on and swung at Aaron Cook's first offering. The inside fastball, which Phillips fouled off, shattered the bat. Phillips held onto the handle but the barrel whipped around and caught Klemm on the left side of the head, cutting him open.

Klemm was down on the field for almost 10 minutes and was attended to by both team's training staffs as well as Mets associate team physician Dr. Joseph Bosco. Klemm finally sat up and was then helped to his feet. As he was led off the field, to a standing ovation, New York's trainer Scott Lawrenson held a compress to his head. He went into the umpires' room where he three received stitches.

"That never happened to me before," Phillips said. "I saw the bat against the backstop and I was walking off [to get a new bat]. I turned around and I was like, 'What happened?' It was scary for a while. He was cut and bleeding. Then some idiot runs on the field during that. I said I had to get out of there, I'm causing problems."

Tony Randazzo, who was umpiring second, went behind the plate when the game resumed. Phillips popped to first when the game continued. The Mets went on to win the game, 5-0.

"I didn't realize at first that he got hit," New York manager Art Howe said. "But he was bleeding pretty good."

Klemm is a vacation fill-in who lives in Brentwood, N.Y. He has worked in the New York-Penn League, the Midwest League, the Carolina League, the Southern League, the Eastern League and the International League. In addition to serving as a vacation ump, Klemm, who is in his ninth professional season, worked as a Major League umpire in Spring Training this season.

Kevin T. Czerwinski is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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