1979 - 2003
A Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect passed away on Monday due to heat stroke. The 23 year old had a body temperature of 108 degrees when he was taken away from the field by an ambulance.
|Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (February 19, 2003)|
Since the death of Mr. Bechler was reported, the talk of the baseball world has centered around a dietary supplement that he was taking. It's called ephedrine, and it's sold over-the-counter and used for a number of purposes, including energy and weight loss.
Naturally, the media has been asking every ballplayer if they are familiar with the supplement. Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal and center fielder Marlon Byrd reported that they have both tried ephedrine, but neither player is still taking it at this time.
|Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (February 21, 2003)|
Lieberthal and Byrd aren't the only two people wearing a Phillies cap that have taken ephedrine before. I used to work overnight at a truck stop on Route 924 where we sold it in packets for 99 cents. It was marketed under the name "Pure Ephedrene alkaloid extract". I tried it for the first time because I was sleepy at work and wanted something more than coffee to help keep me awake for the rest of my shift, and it definitely did the trick. The best way that I can describe the physical feeling that I got from these is that it made my heart beat faster ,and it made every breath feel like the one that I'd take after coming up for air after swimming underwater for a little while. It also put me in an incredibly good mood, which is why I kept taking it for a few months.
There was never a time that I didn't follow the directions on the package so I wouldn't say that I was abusing it, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a habit. I wasn't taking them because I needed to stay awake, but because I liked the way it made me feel... that is until one time when it made my heart beat especially hard and fast. If you ever saw those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where he's in love and it shows the outline of a heart beating through his skin... it sort of felt like that. That was the last time I ever took ephedrine, and after hearing what has been reported this week, I'm very glad that it was. We had it on a little spinning rack near the lottery tickets where anybody could buy it, so I assumed it was a harmless caffeine substitute. Now there are calls to have it banned from Major League Baseball and outlawed entirely, and I think it'd be a pretty good idea if they did both.