update on the pitcher with no legs


1 Response to “update on the pitcher with no legs”

  1. February 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    HEADLINE: Handicapped Athlete, Supporters Protest Coach’s Decision to Cut Him

    BYLINE: Tom Henderson
    Feb.. 11, 2011 (AOL Weblogs delivered by Newstex) —

    To play baseball, so the song goes, you gotta have heart.
    Legs help, too.
    They make running the bases and chasing the ball a whole lot easier. But if you don’t happen to have legs, like teenager Anthony Burruto of Orlando, Fla., don’t worry about it.

    All you really need is heart.
    Doctors amputated his legs when he was an infant because he was born without a shinbone in his left leg and without a fibula in his right leg. Nonetheless, the Orlando Sentinel reports, Burruto has been playing baseball with prosthetic legs since he was 8 years old.
    He was hoping to play for the varsity team at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando this year. His parents Vinny and Diane saw no reason why a little thing like not have legs should stand in his way.
    Coach Mike Bradley sees things differently. According to the Sentinel, he cut Burruto during the second day of tryouts, concerned that he couldn’t field bunts. Also, opposing teams might take advantage of Burruto’s inability to jump off the mound quickly.
    Principal Gene Trochinski stands by his coach. Burruto insists on being treated the same as everyone else? Very well, says the principal. He was.
    “He was given the same opportunity as everyone else,” Trochinski tells the Sentinel.
    However, the paper reports, Burruto’s handicap was apparently never a handicap for his Little League or high school fall ball teams. He can throw a fastball at 80 mph and reportedly has an evil curve. He’s even been on the cover of ESPN magazine.
    His parents are obviously disturbed by the coach’s decision. “He’s not looking at him like he’s an athlete,” Diane Burruto tells the Sentinel. “He was looking at him like he’s a disabled person.”
    She tells the paper her friend Tom Winters, whose own son Nate plays ball at Winter Park High School after losing his left leg in a boating accident, cried when she told him about what happened.
    Others were equally emotional.
    “This decision was wrong,” Dennis Rasmussen, a family friend who pitched in the major leagues for 12 seasons, tells the Sentinel. “You took away the hopes and dreams that Anthony’s been hanging onto. He crushed a young man with no apparent reason.”
    Family and friends have besieged with schools with letters and e-mails.
    Trochinski tells the Sentinel he sympathizes, but again, Burruto was only treated with the equality he and his supporters say he deserves.
    “Unfortunately, he wasn’t only one who did not make the team,” the principal tells the paper. “There were 23 others who tried out and didn’t make it. … At this level, you try to win ballgames.”
    Burruto insists he’s not looking for sympathy from the coach. “I want to earn my position on the team,” he tells the Sentinel. “I want him to say I’m good enough to play.”
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