I had the privilege of speaking to sports columnist and author Bob Klapisch, while he visited Teaneck’s Cong. Beth Aaron on Jan. 25 for a Men’s Club event. In addition to publishing five books and having a column for ESPN and The Record here in North Jersey, Klapisch also plays semi-professional baseball. A recent eye injury, however, has limited his ability to play. About six months ago, Klapisch told us, he attempted to field a chopper. A bad last hop resulted in the ball smacking him square in the left eye, destroying multiple parts of his eye and causing numerous medical complications that I can neither remember nor pronounce. You get the idea.
Doctors told Klapisch that he would likely never be able to use the eye again, and might in fact even need to replace it with a glass eye. This would have not only been the end of Klapisch’s decades-long baseball career (which actually started when he played for Columbia University), but would also impair his ability to observe and cover sports. After an extended off-season which included weeks of rest spent with his family, Klapisch became a “better dad” and had his eye nearly healed. Due to his remarkable achievements, attitude, and recovery, Klapisch received the Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Klapisch would be the first to tell you, all is for the best.