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This blog is about sports and sports cards. Which both I love to talk about. My teams are as follows - MLB - Chicago White Sox, NCAA - Michigan Wolverines & NFL - Indianapolis Colts. Although I post my Michigan stuff to another site now - check it out at http://toomanymarios.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some Things are Bigger than Baseball

Most of you don’t know this but my father died of cancer when I was 8 yrs old.  Back in 1981.  So when the following story was happening, I followed it closely.  And was a big fan of his.  After going through this post, and remember his story, I’m thinking about adding him to my personal collections.

I borrowed this article from - http://chitwoodandhobbs.com/ – If you have a tumblr account, you can reblog this so I assume it was ok to post it here with a link to their site.

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Dave Dravecky began his major league career in 1982 with the San Diego Padres. Five years later he was traded to the San Fransisco Giants while they were embroiled in a heated pennant race. Dravecky proved to be a valuable pickup by pitching a shutout in Game 2 of the NLCS, however, they team would eventually lose to the Cardinals.

The following season disaster struck and a cancerous tumor was found in Dravecky’s left arm, his pitching arm. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor and as a result much of surrounding muscle needed to be removed as well. There was doubt as to if Dravecky would ever pitch again. Dave Dravecky refused to give up and his athletic drive pushed him through rehab to a highly anticipated comeback. On August 10, 1989 Dravecky pitched eight strong innings to earn a win against the Cincinnati Reds. Dravecky survived cancer and proved that he was strong enough to once again pitch in the majors. Or so it was thought.

Five days later Dravecky was called on to make a start in Montreal against the Expos. He got things off to a strong start by pitching three innings of no-hit baseball. Things took a turn for the worse and in the sixth inning he found himself in trouble. Dravecky gave up a lead off home run and hit the next batter. The following batter was Tim Raines. Dravecky wound up to fire a fastball but upon releasing the ball from his grip he heard an explosion in his left ear and Dravecky collapsed in pain. He had snapped his pitching arm in half. It’s extremely hard to watch. It makes my stomach turn. It’s like LT and Theisman except there’s nobody in the way of the injury.

The injured Dave Dravecky stayed with the Giants team that later went on to win the National League Pennant. In the midst of the NLCS win Dravecky ran unto the mound and broke his arm a second time while celebrating. During the ensuing surgery it was discovered that cancer had returned to his arm. The cancer and surgeries ravaged his arm to the point where both his arm and shoulder were amputated.

Saying it’s a sad story is a tremendous understatement. Yet Dave Dravecky soldiers on. Soldiers on isn’t an accurate description. Dave Dravecky flourishes and has turned his story of heartache into a motivational speaking career.

4 comments:

  1. I lived in the SF area when Dravecky was here, and I remember this story vividly. He's a local hero of sorts, for those who remember him. I ran across his book recently, signed, at a local used store. Who knows, it could still be there. His career ended early on a bad note, but I know his story is one of inspiration.

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  2. I've seen the video of his arm breaking, but I didn't know, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story." Good on him for keeping on keeping on.

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  3. I remember this story well and the gut-wrenching video of course.

    I could see why you'd particularly follow his story closely. I read a book by him or about him many, many years ago and really enjoyed it.

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  4. I think I read the book a long time ago as well, but not positive. Might have to look for that on my Kindle and read it again.

    And wow on the video, that was one of the hardest sports video injuries I've ever watched. I thought about looking for it on youtube, but I just don't want to watch it again.

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