One-handed player should inspire us all

I love to watch my nephew play baseball. He’s a great kid with a lot of talent. He can strike me out when we play wiffle-ball at the Fourth of July party, but when I take him deep off the porch, it’s a small victory for age over youth.

I’ve heard a great deal from my brother about the one-handed kid who plays baseball. I’ve heard how he pitches, I’ve heard how he plays shortstop, but my brother’s stories never came close to describing what I finally witnessed when I watched Dylan Miller play early last week.

At first glance, you don’t even notice it. At second glance, you can’t believe it. But when I saw Dylan swinging the bat, along with fielding and throwing someone out at first with the same hand, I felt inspired and humbled more than words can describe.

It was inspirational because of the talent he has which he’s not wasted on self-pity. It was humbling because Dylan plays his heart out when many of us never fully utilized the talents of our youth.

That night, I got to watch one of the greatest games on earth go to extra innings and the game had to be called after the bottom of the ninth because it was 10 p.m. on a school night. The score was 0-0 and it was a pleasure to watch, even in the cold weather.

But I experienced much more than a ballgame that night. I experienced an awakening of the heart and soul that comes from memories of my past and hope for the future. I watched a kid named Dylan, who loves to play the game more than any disability can deny him, and I have him to thank for inspiring me to become a better ballplayer and a better person.

Ken Hopstad


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