Blue Jays rallying around reliever Erik Swanson after 4-year-old son is struck by car



DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Blue Jays are rallying around relief pitcher Erik Swanson and his family after his four-year-old son, Toby, was hit by a car last Sunday in Clearwater and airlifted to a nearby hospital.

The Blue Jays released a statement about the accident on Tuesday, explaining that “Toby is on the road to recovery” while expressing their gratitude to the Clearwater first responders and offering their support to the Swanson family.

“Thanks to the incredible work from Clearwater first responders, Toby is on the road to recovery and is surrounded by his family. Erik will be away from the team for a while, family comes first. Our love, support, and prayers are with Erik, Madison, Toby, and the entire Swanson family.”

According to the Clearwater police report obtained by The Athletic, the accident took place in Clearwater Beach and involved a large SUV. The driver remained on the scene and cooperated with the investigation. According to the Clearwater police report, Toby is listed in critical condition at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Addressing reporters in Lakeland, Fla. before the Blue Jays’ Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers, Blue Jays manager John Schneider said the team is a close-knit group and everyone is showing support for Swanson and his family.

“We have unbelievable resources up and down this organization,” Schneider told reporters, including MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson. “We have an unbelievable group of guys who are in that clubhouse who are very, very close. They spend a lot of time together off the field along with other families. You lean on those guys. You come together as an organization as quickly as you can and help however you can. The guys have been great. Erik and his wife, Madison, are very thankful for the support, and we’re going to continue to give it as long as we need to.”

There is no timeline for Swanson’s return to the team.

“Baseball is secondary when you’re talking about family and life,” Schneider told reporters. “We’re going to support him. The guys have been absolutely phenomenal with him so far, and you can’t forget about players’ wives and significant others who have reached out as well. It’s been a rough couple of days, but it’s really, really nice to see the support for Erik.”

(Photo of Swanson from last season: Dan Hamilton / USA Today)





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