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A college baseball player who gets blinded by a fastball becomes a concert pianist
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Psalm 22:11
It was a hot, muggy day that sunny afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas. The air
was charged with electricity, intensified by the cheers and jeers of college baseball fans, parents and rivalry.
The atmosphere, thick with humidity, penetrated the clothing of every
player and spectator. Oklahoma had proven to be a worthy opponent. It was
a close game, and Dan used every possible opportunity to coach from the
side lines, his voice distinct as it bellowed above the roar of the crowd.
The pressure throbbed like a cooker about to blow. The score was tied
at the bottom of the ninth, two outs, and two men on. Stuart faced OU’s
legendary left-handed pitcher with a full count. Rivers of sweat formed
under both his arms and ran down the middle of his back. He readjusted
his stance and rotated his head to loosen the muscles braided in his neck.
He glanced at the Ump and out at the pitcher again, stepped back from
the plate, wiped burning salt from his eyes, swung the bat once more, then
stepped into the batter’s box and wriggled into position.
Concentrate, Stuart, he told himself. This isn’t your first lefty, and it won’t be your last. So what if agents have been calling from all over the United States?
Sam Magellan’s fastball can’t be that different from any other fastball.
As the pitch left Sam’s hand, Stuart listened for the familiar whine,
the distinctive whir that seemed to laugh at the batter. The wind carried
the whirling mass over the bright green carpet of grass, and Stuart readied
“Just connect with the ball, Stu. Just connect with the ball!” he heard
his father shout.
It was over in a matter of seconds. Before Stuart could calculate the
exact instant to swing; before he had time to think or duck. He looked up
in sudden, unbelievable surprise, only to be met with the unimaginable.
It wasn’t a third strike that took Stuart out of the game that day, but
Fate that sent him to the hospital in an ambulance.