Angels’ left-handed pitching prospect Kevin Grendell had a bit of a revelation a couple years back just when he thought things could not get much worse. Since the tender, nearly innocent age of 18 the young man has been battling to get called to The Show. Unfortunately, it did not occur as of then. To this day, he has not been given that big break quite yet.
In spite of this not so ideal reality, an event transpired in the summer months that would prove to change the direction of his livelihood. Strangely enough, said event had absolutely nothing to do with baseball. The event transcended that by a long shot.
The pitcher’s attention reverted to a little girl in the stands for some reason. This may seem fairly innocuous at first glimpse, but it is the furthest thing from that. The child he scanned possessed a set of hearing aids. It snappily hit Grendell given that he actually grew up with a pair of his own in order to get by. The ball player admitted that he dealt with bullying a lot because of this. Therefore, seeing the youth allowed him to ascertain that the struggle branches beyond him.
Additionally, the spectacle allowed him to see the bigger picture with regard to the sports aspect. He no longer wanted to successfully be in the majors to immediately strike it rich. Contrarily, seeing the girl gave him the opportunity to be an example. Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register includes more information as to Grendell’s thoughts on the situation.
“‘It developed my why,’” Grendell said.
The inspiration he accrued from the youngster was just enough to get his career and mindset back on track. Angels’ minor league pitching coach, Jim Gott, recognizes the sense of truth that engulfs this remark as well.
“‘This is a very determined, headstrong kid,’ Gott said. ‘You need to be that type of competitor to pitch in the big leagues… the struggles he’s had in life put him in situation to be in big league camp with us this year.’”
The hearing dilemma has been something Kevin has dealt with since he was born. It was originally hard to pinpoint, but it eventually set in as time sallied onward. Per Fletcher’s article, Grendell discloses the difficulty he had concerning his self-esteem as a kid.
“‘I couldn’t stand up for myself… I was that nerdy, geeky looking kid.’”
Thankfully, the tides turned a tad one day when Kevin could suddenly make out the sound of his mother’s voice one day. Further analysis demonstrates that while it is not perfect now per se, he can partially hear out of his right ear. The opposite ear is one that is still entirely the same, alas. The hearing ability in it will likely never improve.
The obstacle never totally stopped him, though, since baseball (amidst a couple other activities, too), kept the lad going in his younger days. It served as an antidote to the stress he incurred.
The girl, however, is what has truly kept him going. She imparted him with an extraordinary amount of discernment. She transformed him for the better.
“‘I changed a lot of life habits and was able to connect everything where I want to go. I was able to line up my action with my vision.’”
The southpaw has indeed made major strides in terms of where he intends to be. His hard work and perseverance have given him a shot to prove himself among the “big boys” this spring. More importantly, it grants him the opportunity to make his testimony known. Coach Gott likewise recognizes the significance of Kevin’s presence at camp.
“‘This is really important to him not only to compete at the major league level but to get his story out and help other people.’”