Jesse Dodd should have been on top of the dogpile when the College of Idaho baseball team celebrated its first trip to the NAIA World Series in a decade.
Instead, he was on crutches.
He should have been on the field with his team Monday, preparing for the week-long, 10-team, double-elimination national championship tournament in Lewiston.
Instead, he was running and stretching alone in the Wolfe Field bullpen as a trainer examined his left foot.
The junior dislocated the fourth metatarsal while sliding into second base during the Coyotes’ second game at the NAIA opening round tournament in Azusa, Calif.
“I was pretty darn sure it was broken,” Dodd said.
He wasn’t alone. C of I coach Shawn Humberger said the original diagnosis was a break, because Dodd had broken the foot before and the swelling was so severe.
He left the game and missed the final two championship games against Azusa Pacific, including the World Series clincher on May 14.
Just when it appeared Dodd was finally healthy and helping the team to its best season in a decade, he was back in the dugout watching — and thinking — with yet another injury.
“It wasn’t really, ‘why is this happening again,’” Dodd said. “It was, ‘we are going to go to the World Series and I’m going to sit and watch.’”
After breaking both feet in high school and enduring major surgeries to both hips his first two years in college, Dodd is one Yotes player who definitely deserves a break — to get back on the field.
“He’s somebody who’s been through a lot physically to even have a chance to play,” Humberger said.
During the 2007 American Legion season, Dodd stepped on the grass lip while running to first base and shattered a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. He had a metal screw inserted and was on crutches for three weeks. His total recovery time was three months.
The next basketball season at Eagle High, he came down with a rebound and broke a bone in his right foot.
He spent the same time frame on the sidelines — missing the Power Showcase Home Run Derby at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla. — before returning for his senior baseball season at Eagle, where he was named a Preseason Louisville Slugger High School All-American.
Dodd, who was recruited by C of I, eventually chose a scholarship to play baseball at Loyola Marymount, but was able to attend classes only. He had hip problems and was unable to play.
He underwent the first of two major hip surgeries at the University of Utah in the summer of 2009.
He had bone bruises and bone-on-bone contact.
“It wasn’t good," he said.
“Your hips are supposed to point out at 45 degrees and mine were at 85 degrees.”
Dodd continued to work to get back on the field. He talked with Humberger about playing for the Coyotes. He played in 30 games at the C of I in 2010 and had surgery on his other hip after the season.
This year, the starting first baseman and backup catcher is batting .269 with 10 doubles, one home run and 32 RBIs.
Now, he’s trying to again get back on the field.
The Coyotes open the NAIA World Series -- their first trip since 2002 -- against Point Park (Pa.) at 10 a.m. on Friday.
“I am going to play on Friday if coach puts me in the lineup, and I would think he would,” Dodd said. “I feel good enough, I’m not good, but I feel good enough to (play).”
He deserves that much.