The Biggest Hero in Baseball – Dwarfism Takes the Mound

The Biggest Hero in Baseball – Dwarfism Takes the Mound

walker-boy-dwarfism-Tripp-by-Allison_Road
Tripp, 11, backs himself into his scooter after his march to the mound – by Allison Profeta

Recently, at her son’s Little League game, Allison Profeta was lucky enough to witness an extraordinary moment. She documented the event in Staunton, Virginia with photos and wrote about it on her blog. Here is an edited excerpt:

My son plays on a team with a 10-year-old boy named Baxter. Baxter’s brother, Tripp, was born with a form of dwarfism known as SED. He is still recovering from a series of major surgeries — one to stabilize his neck, and two for reconstructing each hip. The 11-year-old was in a full body cast for months but now used an electric scooter to move.

To mark the last baseball game of his brother’s season, Tripp was asked to throw out the first pitch. This would require him to get out of the scooter and walk more than 35 feet (10m) to the pitcher’s mound using a walker.

The coach talked to the tiny boy, letting him know what was required. He was to walk from the sideline to the pitcher’s mound, then throw out the first pitch, and walk all the way back.

Tripp’s mom was hesitant. She was unsure that he would have the strength after that long walk to take one hand off of his walker long enough to throw the pitch. Tripp piped up with a confident “I’ll do it!” so his mom stepped back.

This short walk that most of us do without thinking twice, was visibly arduous for Tripp. His walker got stuck in the dirt more than once. He never asked for help. He never faltered.

Photo by Allison Profeta
Photo by Allison Profeta

On the pitcher’s mound, the coach patiently and confidently treated Tripp as equal to all the other ballplayers who’d ever needed encouragement before throwing. His brother handed him the ball, and then ran to home plate as the team’s catcher. The boys on the team all stood in a line with their hats in their hands and the crowd held their breath. They all watched as Tripp became the hero of Staunton in one pitch.

The frail but determined boy returned across the infield with his walker and backed himself into his scooter.

(READ the full story at AllisonRoad)

Photos by Allison Profeta – Story tip by Harmony Moon on Facebook

COMMENTS

  1. Note from the Editor: Allison said later after a local newspaper posted a link to her blog, “(For me) the best part is a woman with dwarfism wrote to me through my blog and told me she felt so proud to see him being treated with respect.” I thought that was very cool.