Umpire taken off field in stretcher

.LOS ANGELES (AP) – Plate umpire Kerwin Danley was taken off the field in an ambulance after he was struck on the jaw by Brad Penny’s fastball that Dodgers catcher Russell Martin missed in the fourth inning Saturday night.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said Danley lost consciousness briefly, but was conscious and coherent when he was placed into the ambulance.

“He wanted up,” said third base ump Greg Gibson, who had an escort waiting to take him to the hospital after the Dodgers-Rockies game. “It was kind of funny because the Dodgers’ trainer said, ‘I’ve always wanted to tell an umpire what to do, and tonight I’m going to do it. You’re not going anywhere.’ But the Dodgers’ training staff was great.

“His mom was here, which was a concern,” Gibson added. “I’m very grateful to them for the support – getting the ambulance and everything they did for us. They’ve just been awesome. We’re a family.”

The game was delayed for 18 minutes, with Danley laying nearly motionless behind home plate before being put on a stretcher and loaded into the ambulance.

“He was out for a little bit on the field, so this is all just precautionary and I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Gibson said. “I’ve had three concussions myself, so it’s a scary thing. I’m just glad that everybody responded as quickly as they did.”

Dodgers medical personnel accompanied him on the ride to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was taken for precautionary reasons, including a CT scan.

Crew members Brian Runge and Greg Gibson rushed to his side while first-base ump Angel Campos hustled back into the dressing room to put on the gear to work home plate.

Runge held Danley’s left hand and patted him on the chest while they waited for the ambulance, and the crowd applauded the umpire as he was placed into the vehicle.

The video board in left field showed Danley, the crew chief, being driven out the center-field gate, with the words “Our best wishes to umpire Kerwin Danley” at the bottom of the screen.

A Los Angeles native, Danley has been a big league umpire since 1998. He has worked in four division series, the 2007 AL championship series and the 2007 All-Star game.

Danley played college baseball at San Diego State, where he was teammates with Tony Gwynn.