Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hardball Heroes: Dave Dravecky

Each month, More Hardball bestows our Hardball Heroes award to players who are not likely to be immortalized in Cooperstown, but whose athleticism and sportsmanship left an impression on us. This month, we honor Dave Dravecky whose All Star career was cut short due to the devastating effects of cancer. While his career stats will never be enough to warrant entry in the Hall of Fame, his inspirational comeback, and post-baseball career demonstrate his indomitable character.

Dave Dravecky made his Major League debut in 1982 with the San Diego Padres, and within a year, he had proven himself worthy of representing them in the All Star game. Dravecky was a solid southpaw pitcher who was equally comfortable as a starter or reliever. He spent 5 seasons with the Padres and was traded to the Giants during the 1987 season. In 1988, his pitching arm began to cause him trouble. Doctors examined his arm and found a cancerous growth. Although the cancer was not malignant, it was destroying his deltoid muscle and humerus bone. In October, Dravecky underwent surgery to remove half of his deltoid muscle, and was told that "short of a miracle" he would never play baseball again.

Through his faith and determination, Dravecky endured an arduous rehabilitation and by July of 1989, he was pitching for the San Jose Giants and, later, the Phoenix Firebirds. Against all odds, and to the amazement of baseball fans, Dave Dravecky returned to the Majors on August 10th, 1989. Beginning in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds, Dravecky pitched a surprising 8 innings and earned a 4-3 win. Five days later, Dravecky was the starting pitcher against the Expos, and by the close of the fifth inning, he had allowed no runs. Sadly, though, he began struggling in the sixth, and allowed Damaso Garcia to hit a home run. He pitched two balls and two strikes against Andres Galarraga before hitting him with a pitch. His next pitch against Tim Raines would be the last of his career. Dravecky's arm had broken in two places on a wild pitch. His amazing comeback and his career was over. In his eight season career, Dravecky pitched 1062.2 innings, 558 strikeouts, earned 64 wins, 10 saves, 3.13 era, and 1.207 whip.

Dravecky's cancer had returned, and subsequent treatments resulted in an infection. By 1991, Dravecky bore the hardship of the amputation of his left arm and shoulder. While he faced depression, it was ultimately his faith that allowed him to begin a new life. That year, he and his wife founded the Outreach for Hope Foundation, a ministry dedicated to reaching out to those who had suffered cancer and amputation. Today, Dravecky is a highly sought after motivational speaker, author and editor of many Christian books. Dave Dravecky considers baseball as the starting point to his purpose in life; to help others.

"Do not deny the impact your life can have on others." ~Dave Dravecky

17 comments:

GM-Carson said...

Now that's a hero.

The Zoner said...

did you know he is still an awesome golfer too? He can jack drives 250 with one arm. Amazing guy.

GM-Carson said...

I can't touch 250 with both arms in 2 drives. Damn that's good.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Very nice, I have added your site to my list of links. Good luck!

amew said...

If you are looking for a boredom-free hour. Best Online Casinos is what you need the most.

casinos en ligne said...

hello, this is really interesting

machine a sous sans telechargement said...

i like your point of view

casino slot game said...

i like your website

descargar casino online said...

it's really interesting, thanks

jeux casino said...

it's a great article

gratis casino spiele said...

hi, i like your point of view

giocho casino said...

good article

jocuri casino said...

i like this article

oakleyses said...

burberry outlet online, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet, nike air max, jordan shoes, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors handbags, nike outlet, red bottom shoes, prada handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, coach outlet, christian louboutin, true religion outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach purses, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet store, chanel handbags, ray ban outlet, longchamp outlet online, burberry outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, tory burch outlet online, louis vuitton handbags, kate spade outlet online, kate spade outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet, oakley vault, true religion, longchamp outlet

oakleyses said...

sac louis vuitton, michael kors uk, air jordan, nike air max, mulberry, michael kors canada, nike roshe run, louis vuitton, ralph lauren, guess pas cher, true religion outlet, oakley pas cher, nike free, chaussure louboutin, sac michael kors, nike air force, converse pas cher, longchamp, tn pas cher, scarpe hogan, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, nike air max, north face, sac vanessa bruno, hermes pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, lacoste pas cher, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, louis vuitton uk, north face pas cher, hollister, lululemon, air max pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, burberry pas cher, new balance pas cher, barbour, timberland, vans pas cher, nike free pas cher, air max, longchamp pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher

oakleyses said...

nike roshe, asics shoes, celine handbags, ugg outlet, canada goose outlet, birkin bag, marc jacobs outlet, bottega veneta, ugg boots, mcm handbags, uggs outlet, nfl jerseys, mont blanc pens, instyler ionic styler, north face jackets, replica watches, abercrombie and fitch, ugg soldes, ugg boots clearance, beats headphones, babyliss, p90x workout, wedding dresses, reebok shoes, uggs on sale, ferragamo shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike huarache, valentino shoes, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, ugg, lululemon outlet, chi flat iron, north face jackets, herve leger, hollister, insanity workout, soccer shoes, canada goose, canada goose outlet, uggs outlet, vans outlet, longchamp, soccer jerseys, new balance outlet, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

juicy couture outlet, montre femme, thomas sabo uk, louis vuitton canada, air max, moncler, moncler, iphone 6 case, canada goose, parajumpers outlet, juicy couture outlet, converse, uggs canada, swarovski uk, timberland shoes, replica watches, nike air max, moncler, converse shoes, gucci, ray ban, hollister, ralph lauren, pandora jewelry, vans, swarovski jewelry, lancel, canada goose pas cher, toms outlet, oakley, canada goose, moncler, moncler outlet, supra shoes, moncler outlet, karen millen, pandora uk, hollister canada, canada goose, moncler, wedding dress, coach outlet, baseball bats, links of london uk, hollister clothing, louboutin, pandora charms, ugg