When Travis Ishikawa first met the woman who turned out to be his future wife, she apparently didn't notice that he looked like Rocky Balboa after going 15 rounds with Apollo Creed.
"She says she doesn't remember me having a swollen face," Ishikawa said. "My cheek was all swollen and she says she doesn't remember any of that."
It is true, then, that love must be blind, because Ishikawa's face was about twice its usual size after he got in the face with a fastball in the first game he played with the Giants' Class A affiliate in San Jose, in 2004.
Ishikawa started that season with San Francisco's low-A team in Hagerstown, Maryland, hit well, and was called up to San Jose.
"I flew cross-country all day," Ishikawa recalled. "I got into the San Jose airport around 2:30 or 3, just in time to go straight to the field for batting practice."
Because the club had several players injured, Ishikawa was inserted into the lineu...