Red Sox' Jeff Gray hospitalized after suffering blood vessel 'spasm'

By   |   July 30, 1991

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Jeff Gray was hospitalized Tuesday after he apparently suffered a blood vessel spasm that restricted blood flow to the brain, the team physician said.

Gray, 28, was carried from the Fenway Park locker room on a stretcher after experiencing weakness in his right arm and leg. He had just finished a workout in the weight room and was sitting on a stool in front of his locker when he slumped over.

Red Sox General Manager Lou Gorman said Gray was semi-conscious and was experiencing slurred speech before he was taken to Beth Israel Hospital shortly after 11 a.m.

Doctors initially feared Gray had suffered a stroke but later determined this was not the case, team physician Dr. Arthur Pappas told reporters Thursday afternoon.

'The concern when he went to the hospital was that this could be stroke but there's no evidence of a clot or damage in his brain,' Pappas said.

The problem appears to have been 'more of a spasm or migraine-type problem than a stroke-type thing,' Pappas said.

Pappas said the spasm would have consisted of 'the blood vessel going to the brain tightening down and restricting the blood flow.'

Asked what the cause might be, the team physician said, 'Unknown.'

'I don't know how it relates to pitching,' he said. 'This is all in the brain.'

He said it was possible the episode could be stress-related, and said Gray had experienced a similar problem 10 years ago, exhibiting much the same symptoms.

Pappas confirmed Gray had experienced slurred speech and weakness in his right arm and leg before he was taken to the hospital. During the afternoon there was an 'improvement in both speech and strength,' the doctor said.

Gray will remain in the hospital at least overnight, Pappas said.

Gray last pitched on Sunday. The right-hander leads the American League in appearances this season with 50.