Baseball firsts are always important.
In the big leagues you get your first hit, they save you the ball for the trophy case.
Campbell River Minor Baseball doesn’t have the extra coin to give every player a ball for their first hit, but they might consider giving home plate to Brayden Patrick for his first run.
A first run may not seem that special, unless you’re a special player like Brayden.
The 10-year-old has cerebral palsy, a congenital brain disorder that affects motor skills.
It hasn’t affected Brayden’s ability to “motor.” He’s a swimmer, drummer and guitar player whose determination is far greater than his disability.
Still, playing team sports seemed somewhat out-of-reach due to Brayden’s limited mobility.
That changed this spring when Brayden decided he wanted to play baseball.
“His parents gave a lot of thought before signing him up,” explains Amanda Doherty, a family friend and avid baseball mom. “The safety risks and possibility of not being accepted by his peers were potentially huge hurdles for Brayden.”
This Saturday is the season wind-up and Doherty happily reports Brayden has cleared every hurdle as a member of the Mosquito Mariners. He practices and plays with the intention of getting better every day and he’s made many new friends.
One of Brayden’s biggest “leaps” took place during a league game on June 12.
“Up until this point, his coaches had let him have the option of having a runner take over from first – this night Brayden decided he wanted to run the bases himself,” says Doherty.
Brayden worked the pitcher for a walk, advanced to second and third following singles by teammates, and then the big RBI hit came allowing Brayden to score his very first run.
“He ran his heart out, crossing home plate safely with a smile on his face,” says Doherty, as players and fans all cheered for Brayden. “He has enjoyed his time with the Mariners and his teammates have enjoyed having him!”