Gunnar Sandberg's Big Moment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    CaringBridge
    This picture, from Gunnar's CaringBridge update site, shows how far he's come since a baseball cracked his skull on March 11.

    Gunnar Sandberg unbuttoned his white Athletics jersey and revealed a black Giants T-shirt underneath as he met San Francisco closer Brian Wilson.

    Good move, kid.

    Both teams hosted Sandberg for Sunday's finale of the Bay Bridge Series, just more than two months after the Marin Catholic High School pitcher was hit by a line drive during a March 11 scrimmage and suffered a life-threatening brain injury.

    The De La Salle player who hit the ball, Zac Byers, joined Sandberg and his father at the game, too. A's players signed Sandberg's jersey, he visited both clubhouses and spent time on the field during batting practice.

    Sandberg, who wears a protective helmet and will have another surgery Tuesday, plans to play baseball again next season -- but maybe just as a middle infielder.

    Sandberg, 16, was placed in a medically induced coma at Marin General  Hospital, and a portion of his skull was removed before he was transferred to  the rehabilitation facility.

    He also threw out a ceremonial first pitch at AT&T Park in  San Francisco when his high school team played there on May 6.
         
    His injury revived the debate about using metal bats, which  critics claim make the ball travel faster than those hit with wood bats, and  led to a response by the state legislature.

    The issue has been studied since the 1970s, and high school teams  in the Marin County Athletic League agreed not to use non-wood bats for the  remainder of this season.

    The state Senate Education Committee approved a bill on May 5 that  would place a one-year moratorium on the use of metal bats in high school  baseball games.

    The bill, AB7, authored by state Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San  Rafael, now heads to a vote by the full Senate.

    The A's are offering a special fundraiser for today's game in  honor of Sandberg. A donation of $5 will be made to the Gunnar Sandberg Fund  from each Field Level ticket purchased through the team's website,  www.oaklandathletics.com/gunnar.
     

    Bay City News contributed to this report.