WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Doug Barlow never imagined he’d have to save his teammate’s life just days after joining a father-son baseball league.
Barlow, 26, tells Nexstar’s WPRI he didn’t hesitate to sign up for the Rhode Island Men’s Senior Baseball League when his girlfriend’s father asked if he was interested.
It was during his second practice with the Rhode Island Red Sox last month that his instincts kicked in.
Barlow, who was off duty at the time, was catching when his teammate John Tedder stepped up to the plate.
“He gets a good base hit and makes it to second base,” Barlow recalled. “Then a young kid came up and hit an absolute bomb.
“John was going to score super easy, but it was dark and he couldn’t see where the ball was going,” he added. “He was on his horse. He was running as fast as he could to home plate.”
Barlow said Tedder slowed down after he told him he was going to score “nice and easy.”
“He touched the plate then went back toward the dugout,” Barlow explained. “I didn’t think much of it. I squatted back down and caught the next pitch.
“I caught the next ball then heard a little bit of a commotion,” he continued. “It was a couple of the guys telling [Tedder] to stand back up and catch his breath.”
Barlow said when he looked over and saw Tedder lying on the ground, he immediately ran over to check on his teammate.
“I went into work mode, where you say what you see to your fellow firefighters,” Barlow explained. “I felt for a pulse, and I didn’t find one. So I verbally said, ‘Hey, I don’t have a pulse. I’m going to start CPR.’
“Unfortunately, the person that was next to me — the person I said that to — just so happened to be his son,” he continued.
Barlow estimated that he performed CPR on Tedder for nearly five minutes before paramedics arrived and rushed him to a local hospital.
“It felt like an eternity,” Barlow recalled.
Tedder, who had gone into cardiac arrest, has since made a full recovery. Barlow said the harrowing experience not only brought the team closer together but also motivated them to win the World Series a few days later.
“We had an extra drive in us that no other team really had,” Barlow explained. “Before we took the field every game, we would huddle up and remind everyone what we’re playing for.”
Barlow said winning the championship was the “icing on the cake.”
The Rhode Island Red Sox brought the title home to Tedder, who Barlow said was emotional.
“He broke down when he found out we ended up winning it for him,” Barlow said. “We had a purpose to play for and a reason to win.”
That wasn’t the only time Barlow stepped in and rendered aid on the field. In the first game of the World Series, Barlow also helped a player on the opposing team who dislocated his shoulder.
“He was begging me to put it back,” Barlow said. “I told him, ‘I’ll give it the best shot I’ve got.'”
“You could see how happy he was as soon as his shoulder popped back in,” he continued, adding that his teammates now joke about whether it is good luck or bad luck to have him on the field.