Inspirational MLB Players Who Triumphed Over Physical Barriers

Inspirational MLB Players Who Triumphed Over Physical Barriers - partycasino

A sports star is a real figure for admiration to the average man on the street. Pro athletes are natural role models with their supreme skills, athletic prowess, and dedication to fitness.

However, there are some which stand out even further, overcoming formidable physical barriers to excel in their field. There are many examples in MLB, but here are just a few of the most inspirational.

Tom Sunkel

Any physical disability presents a real problem for baseball players, but arguably loss of sight is one of the hardest to combat. Tom Sunkel's left eye was severely injured with a toy gun when he was aged 3, creating significant vision and depth perception issues. 

Although the eye was saved at the time, Sunkel went on to develop cataracts, and by the time he was breaking into MLB, he was classified as legally blind. Playing from 1937 to 1944, he never let his degenerating problems hamper his career. Sunkel was known for playing with his head tilted to one side while batting and pitching to help overcome his visual problems. 

Playing for the Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants, Tom Sunkel had an MLB career to be proud of.

Curtis Pride

Curtis Pride was deaf from birth as a result of rubella, but it never hindered his desire to excel in sports. Born in 1968, he was such a natural athlete that he was able to take his pick of three different sports in high school. 

Ultimately Pride picked MLB over soccer and basketball, despite the fact he had represented the USA internationally in an under-16s tournament. Originally signing with the Mets, Pride reached the MLB with the Montreal Expos, arriving in 1993. He never became a first-team starter but made a name for himself as an outstanding pinch hitter and outfield player. Known for having a strong arm, Pride played in the MLB from 1993 to 2006 for teams including the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Angels. 

In 1996 Pride was given the Tony Conigliaro Award, a trophy only given to those who demonstrate courage, determination and strength of spirit to overcome adversity.

Mordecai Brown

Born in 1876, Mordecai Brown had a disability which he somehow managed to turn into an advantage while playing baseball. 

As a young child, he had an accident with farm machinery, which meant that he lost two fingers on his hand. This gave him the brutal nickname of Three-Finger Brown, but this physical disadvantage helped him become a phenomenal pitcher. 

To overcome the difficulty of pitching with just three fingers, he developed a technique that involved resting the ball on his stump. This allowed him to throw a curveball that swung unpredictably before reaching the plate. Hitters describe the ball dropping and curving at the same time as it reached the plate, making it almost impossible to hit. 

Throughout his career, he played for the Cubs and the Cardinals, among others. He had a career ERA of 2.06, which is the third-best of all the players inducted into the Hall of Fame, but the best of any pitcher with more than 200 wins.