Is it possible to see a blind MLB pitcher suit up in the big leagues? Well if the determination of Juan Sandoval continues, it will happen. Sandoval lost sight in his right eye seven years ago after being shot, a moment in time he will never forget, but he doesn't want special treatment or preferences, he just wants a shot at pitching.
According to Yahoo! on Feb. 20, Sandoval was shot on Feb. 4, 2006 when a drunken man angry with being thrown out of a restaurant returned with a gun and opened fire. Sandoval ended up with three buckshot pellets lodged in his eye.
As Sandoval put it, right from that moment he has seen "nothing but black," out of his right eye. He still sees nothing but black from the right eye, but the left one is working great, and so is Sandoval's attitude towards life and the game he loves - baseball.
"What happened is not something I'm carrying all the time, wearing on my chest so people can know," Sandoval said. "I don't think about it. I'm just a normal player here. I don't know how many – 50 players here? I'm one of 50 in the clubhouse. I'm a normal person, a normal player. I don't like coaches or nobody giving me credit – or limits."
Sandoval is currently working out with the Tampa Bay Rays, hoping to keep his MLB dream alive.
Current Rays pitcher Joel Peralta saw Sandoval during the Dominican Professional Baseball League and wondered why a guy could almost throw 100 m.p.h wasn't playing in the big leagues.
"Joel saw me a couple times and started asking me how come I'm not in the States," Sandoval said. "Maybe it was my eye problem. I was 32. I hadn't made it to the bigs. Many things not on my side."
As fate would have it Peralta and Sandoval are from the same town.
Well with a little help from Peralta, Sandoval is getting a shot this year at spring training to show what he can do.
What a great ending to a story if Juan Sandoval makes the Rays team.
Good luck Juan Sandoval!