Rafters all-star suffers serious brain injury

In August pitcher Jacob Rosenkranz suffered a traumatic brain injury in practice at Missouri Baptist University
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:08 PM CDT
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WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - A member of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters family is facing a long road to recovery.

In August, 2023 Northwoods League All-Star pitcher Jacob Rosenkranz suffered a traumatic brain injury in practice at Missouri Baptist University. A ball hit Rosenkranz in his left temple. He suffered a skull fracture and brain bleed.

Rafters Assistant General Manager Tyler Miller says they were devastated to learn about the injury.

“It was really devastating for a guy who spent 2 months here working really hard, and it kind of changed everything with that injury his life has changed forever now,” said Miller.

Jacob had a small portion of his skull removed, frozen, and will be put back after brain swelling goes down in the next 9-12 weeks. The good news is he’s expected to survive, but faces a long recovery.

“One (fan) had mentioned that it was their son’s first game, his first signed ball was from him. So just really cool the impact that he had on the field and off the field for our fans and the kids here that watch him,” said Miller.

Fellow pitcher Nick Paulsen, a senior at UW-Stevens Point, played with Jacob over the summer. He says the all-star was a great teammate.

“I was devastated, honestly. I think everybody on the team was, to hear this out of the blue, really. Nobody was expecting that coming,” said Paulsen.

Paulsen says his Rafters teammates will be sending gift bags with food and puzzles he likes, and are hopeful for a healthy recovery.

“He was a great person just for helping on the mound and doing stuff that goes above and beyond the call we are supposed to do as pitchers,” said Paulsen.

“Wisconsin Rapids-- we are one big family here. He will always be a Rafter for life,” said Miller.

Jacob has made progress since his injury. On September 10th, he was transferred to a rehab center in downtown Chicago, near his hometown. There’s a GoFundMe started to support Jacob. So far, over $24,000 has been raised. For more information, click here.