Courtney Farmer's flight to New York was just about ready for takeoff. She passed the time by following the Twins game on the MLB app on her phone.

Her husband Kyle, the Twins shortstop, came to the plate to face White Sox starter Lucas Giolito. With a 0-1 count, the app's play-by-play showed that he was hit by a pitch.

"He gets hit by a pitch all the time, so I really didn't think much of it," Courtney said. "Until I saw 'injury delay' pop up."

She immediately switched to the live video on her app to see what happened. Her husband had been hit directly in the face with a fastball clocked at 91.6 miles per hour.

Within minutes, Courtney's plane was in the air while her husband was being transported to a hospital.

"Luckily," she said, "Delta now has free Wi-Fi."

Luck was on the family's side in many ways on the 12th of April. Farmer escaped that harrowing incident without a broken jaw, or worse.

The impact broke the bone in his mouth that houses his four lower front teeth, causing them to get pushed backward. But his jaw survived intact, he didn't suffer a concussion, and Farmer was able to eat solid foods in a matter of days.

His dad asked him a few days after the incident if he still wanted to play baseball. Farmer didn't hesitate with his answer.

Heck yeah!

He couldn't wait to get back in the batter's box.

"I guess some people might think I'm crazy for stepping back in the box," he said. "I just love baseball so much."

Farmer had been hit by a pitch 73 previous times in his professional career but never above the shoulder. He suffered multiple concussions on foul balls ricocheting off his mask during his time as a catcher. He admits to having a high pain tolerance.

This was different. A fastball hit him directly in the face. The sound of it could be heard in the press box. Fans watched in horrified silence as manager Rocco Baldelli and athletic trainers tended to Farmer, lying face down in the dirt.

"It felt like a punch right to the face," he said. "I haven't been punched that hard in a while."

He remembers everything about it. The white ball screaming toward his head. The pain he felt in his mouth, thinking he had a broken jaw. Then waiting to have surgery at the hospital.

Back in the air, his wife was texting him and the medical staff, thankful for the Wi-Fi. The Twins were starting a series against the Yankees the next day so Courtney and the couple's 19-month-old son, McCoy, were making the trip to New York.

Courtney's friend Jessica, wife of Twins pitcher Sonny Gray, was on the plane as well. She also had been watching the game on her phone and knew what happened.

Courtney changed her itinerary during the flight. She saw that her plane was returning to Minneapolis right away so she booked seats. Jessica held McCoy while Courtney alerted flight attendants so that their bags would be kept on the plane.

She got McCoy a snack after landing and then they headed right back onto the plane for the flight home. Her husband was already out of surgery by the time she made it to the hospital.

"There was really nothing I can do," she said, grateful the team's staff kept her updated throughout the flight.

Farmer pulled out his phone during an interview this past week at Target Field. He scrolled through photos of his bloody, mangled mouth and swollen face. They are not for the squeamish.

"My tongue was stuck underneath my teeth when I got hit," he said.

He underwent four root canals and had wires inserted to secure his teeth after being put back into place. He has surgery Monday to remove the wires, and there will be another procedure in a few weeks to finish the dental work.

That's the physical repair. The mental side has come easier than one might expect.

“I guess some people might think I'm crazy for stepping back in the box. I just love baseball so much.”
Kyle Farmer

Farmer stepped into the batter's box again this past Tuesday — just 20 days later — on a rehab assignment with the St. Paul Saints. The 32-year-old veteran has made 1,511 plate appearances as a major leaguer and nearly 2,100 more in the minors, but never one like this — his first at-bat after being beaned in the face.

"I didn't feel normal," he said of his emotions as he dug in. "I'm just glad I didn't strike out."

He hit a fly ball to right field.

Mission accomplished, though.

"It was a deep sigh of relief," he said. "It's kind of like getting on your bike after you crash. You take a clean ride, and it feels a lot better."

He paused.

"Once I get that first hit," he said, "it will feel great."

He planned to play a handful of games with the Saints and then rejoin the Twins after their road trip. He's still working to regain his timing and he wears a protective flap on his helmet now. Otherwise, he's ready to put this scary moment behind him.

Farmer said just knowing that his injury could have been so much worse has helped him process it and move on quickly.

"It's going to take a lot for me not to come back and play," he said.