Baseball Dreams For a Day


WACO (May 19, 2013) -- This weekend, Zach Gardner was Baylor Ballpark's biggest star.

Even though, physically, he may be the smallest player in the game.

"I feel like I can pretty much do whatever I set my mind to," Gardner said.

Gardner was born without three of his limbs, but his skills attract quite the crowd.

"He's limited physically, but in no other ways is he limited. He has got a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind," Baylor head coach Steve Smith said.

And just like each of the nearly 150 children at this year's Shriner's Baseball Classic, Gardner's challenges haven't slowed him down.

"There's people always telling you, you can't do certain things," Gardner said. "They can, they're out here fielding the ball, hitting the ball."

"You can be mad or hateful about what you don't have or you can be grateful for what you do have," Hunter Woodhall said. "It's not that I'm made I don't have my legs, but I'm thankful I have my hands."

And for most of these children, playing baseball-just once-is a dream come true.

"One little kid, I was like, 'you ready for this?' and his comment, 'I've been waiting for this my whole life.' Little things like that is what it's about," Quan Cosby said.

"It's basically their world series. Everything from the walk-in dugouts, to the music, to the pictures on the video board," baseball classic chairman Dustin Johnson said.

But perhaps bigger than the experience, is the inspiration these children give to everyone they meet.

"I think you see the opportunity that this is and how special this is for these kids, it just reminds you life is precious and we are all blessed and we should never forget that," Smith said.

"Their couple hours of playing is what I should feel every day living because I'm truly blessed and really, they are and everyone is," Cosby said.


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