For more than two years, he was in ``la-la land,'' fighting through the fog of headaches, light and sound sensitivity, nausea and the fear of never knowing when he might live a normal day again.
And then barely two months after the fog lifted, less than a week into comeback with the Cubs, third baseman Corey Koskie dived for a grounder and felt a little light-headed.
``And I just decided after that play, `What am I doing here?' '' he said this morning.
He's not even sure the ``funky'' feeling was related to the post-concussion syndrome he fought for those two years.
But he's sure of this: Koskie, 35, is hanging it up after 15 professional seasons in baseball, nine in the big leagues, including three with playoff teams.
``Everything happened so fast,'' he said of a comeback that began in earnest in February when he signed on to play in the World Baseball Classic for Team Canada. ``You get caught up in the whole great-story thing. ... But I think the bigger story at the end of the line is that I had my opportunity to play; I [found out I] could still play; but is it really worth it to play?
``I'll go home and see what happens, see if I want to get back in the game at some point [as a coach].''
In the end, he says, it was a choice between the possibility of another couple of years playing a game he loved or the quality of life with a family he loves more. His kids are 8, 6 and 3.
``I can run around. If I want to play hockey [with the kids], I can play hockey. I can go work out if I want to. For 2 ½ years I couldn't work out. It's just nice to be able to do what you do.''
In a 989-game career spent mostly with Minnesota, Koskie hit .275 with 124 home runs and an .825 OPS - including career highs of 26 homers, 103 RBIs and 100 runs in 2001. He hit .300 his first two full seasons in the big leagues in 1999-2000.