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Gio Urshela might be the toughest player you’ve ever seen

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Exactly one year after the Yankees acquired him, Gio Urshela had a game he’ll never forget. In the bottom of the third inning, he hit a towering two-run home off Red Sox southpaw David Price. In the sixth inning, however, he established himself as the toughest player on the field.

Facing sinkerballer Ryan Weber, Urshela fouled a ball off his back leg. That’s unusual for a right-handed batter. It hit right above his knee and drove him to hop around on one leg. Aaron Boone rushed out, but Urshela convinced the manager he was okay. He just needed a breather before digging back into the plate.

Then the next pitch came and Urshela fouled the ball off his front leg. He collapsed right to the ground and writhed in pain. Steve Donohue emerged and it didn’t look good. Urshela stayed down for noticeably long time. He got back up, though, and resumed his plate appearance.

By now he had the support of entire Yankee Stadium crowd. Beneath a chorus of “Gio!” chants, he tapped a grounder back to Weber and hobbled down the first base line. It didn’t matter that he was out. He finished the at-bat.

And what did he do after? He made his way to the dugout, retrieved his glove, and took his place at the hot corner. Coley Harvey called him a maniac. I proclaimed him a madman. One thing’s for sure, though, he’s the toughest player on the field right now.