PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - A Prattville Lion is defying odds on the baseball field.
Prattville Lions senior outfielder Joseph Gray was born without his left hand and after failing to make the team on three separate occasions, he buckled down and figured out a way to make varsity sophomore year, thanks to some inspiration.
“My mom and dad used to always say look at Jim Abbott from the Yankees," he said. "The way that he pitched taught me how to do everything.”
“He doesn’t take no for an answer and the more you watch him, it’s pretty dang neat,” said Lions Head Coach Kevin Hall.
The logistics of his mechanics took some time and some brain power, but as time went on Joseph figured out how to make it work.
“It’s just there for a lot of it. I used to, when I was little, didn’t have a lot of strength in this arm so it was a lot of fishing almost. Now I have strength in this arm so it’s really just there cause it’s how I have always swung,” said Gray.
His abilities in the weight room are incredible. He can bench press and hang clean more than most of his teammates. When asked how he feels seeing Gray in the weight room, his head coach smiled.
“Amazed," Hall said. "That he can do things that a lot of people can’t.”
Gray exemplifies the phrase “no limits,” so much so he secured a scholarship to go play collegiate baseball at Faulkner University. Teammate Brandon Butts praised Gray.
“He never makes any excuses," Butts said. "He always does his best and I respect him for it and everyone on the team respects him for it because most people would use that as an excuse and a reason why they can’t do anything, but he uses it to prove other people wrong.”
Gray just wants to be an inspiration to other kids in a similar situation.
“You can do whatever you want to do, whatever you set your mind to and if anyone tells you no then figure out a way to tell them yes,” he said.
Prattville is still alive in the playoffs and will play McGill-Toolen this week.