Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Road to RecoverE: Eric LeGrand checks in with the Yankees, continues to recover

Eric making his debut as a Rutgers football analyst. Joe Epstein/AP
Rutgers star and recovering paraplegic Eric LeGrand is the man - we all know about that. We all know he is a great football player, great guy, and most importantly, a great inspiration.

What we might not have known about was his love for playing the game of baseball:

Quoted from NJ.com:

NEW YORK — Before he played on the Rutgers defensive line, before the injury that changed his life, before his resolve inspired countless others to believe, Eric LeGrand was a high school baseball player with enough pitches to give a catcher a headache.

“Two-seam, four-seam, changeup, splitter and curve,” he said. “That was my repertoire.”

On the days he didn’t pitch, LeGrand played center field where he hoped to emulate his favorite player, Bernie Williams.

“Bern baby Bern,” said LeGrand, as he watched batting practice today, before the Yankees beat the Orioles, 11-10.

Growing up, LeGrand rooted for the Yankees, giving up baseball only after his freshman year at Colonia High School in Woodbridge when it was clear that Rutgers saw him starring in football.

But until then, LeGrand said he was a power-hitting center fielder, who banked on seeing his name in the cleanup spot.

He modeled himself after Williams, attempting to do everything the former Yankees standout did on the field, except switch-hit.

“Seeing him out there inspired me to get out there,” said LeGrand, who has been standing upright in therapy, with hopes of getting on a treadmill soon to retrain his legs to walk.

As he watched batting practice, several Yankees drifted over to spend a few minutes with LeGrand, including manager Joe Girardi, Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson.

“The way I look at it, being negative isn’t going to help,” said Granderson, who came away impressed with LeGrand’s outlook. “And I think he looks at it the same way.”

-NJ.com writer Marc Carig

Millions of people have come back from injuries, but far fewer have managed to do so with such grace and popularity.  We continue to wish Eric luck on his road to recoverE, GO E!

The Sportz Broz 

Keep killin' em E.

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