There are people in this world who are seemingly put here to inspire others and the Los Angeles Dodgers were fortunate enough to meet one of those people today.
Anthony Robles, the much-heralded ASU wrestler who won a national championship this year despite being born with just one leg, had a room full of tough-guy big leaguers in awe this afternoon when he spoke to them before batting practice.
This came about after Ted Lilly saw Anthony’s story back in Spring Training. Anthony was not in town when we were here last month, but he was gracious enough to come by for the first game of the series and offer his inspiring words. His entire story was amazing, but you could hear a pin drop in the room when he finished his talk by reciting a poem he wrote and later read at the ESPYs.
“Every soul who comes to earth with a leg or two at birth, must wrestle his opponents knowing its not what is, but what can be that measures worth. Make it hard, just make it possible and through pain, I won’t complain. My spirit is unconquerable. Fearless I will face each foe for I know I am capable. I don’t care what’s probable, through blood, sweat and tears I am unstoppable.”
He finished his chat and nearly every player on the team came over to shake his hand or take a picture with him. It was a truly humbling moment for everyone in the room.
Given that he’s now seeking to make a career as a motivational speaker, I jokingly told him afterward that it would help his cause if the Dodgers came out and won, 15-0. If we lost, we’d have to tell people he spoke to the team on a different day.
Sure enough, in the third inning the Dodgers scored six runs, equaling their most on the season and had seven hits, their largest total in an inning in exactly two years.
Suffice to say, he’s welcome back any time.
For more info, visit his website anthonyrobles.com or follow him on Twitter @arobles125
One year ago today, we posted here about a young man named Christopher Ramirez who was the talk of Spring Training. When Make-a-Wish called us to tell us about a huge Dodger fan from San Francisco, it was expected that this 17-year-old might not make it to see Opening Day. Sadly, with so many of the Make-a-Wish kids we’re fortunate enough to encounter, that is the case.
Christopher came with his sister and his mother to visit Camelback Ranch. Under Ned Colletti’s orders, we treated him like a big leaguer for a day. He took infield/outfield with the team, he took batting practice and he sat in the dugout for a big league Spring game. His story was covered by many media outlets and those of us who spent any time with him took great joy and amazement in his positive outlook, given the circumstances.
Throughout last season, we received updates from him via email about how the inoperable brain tumor he had has been shrinking and we stayed cautiously optimistic. We even got to see him at a game up North in San Francisco. But when he arrived at camp yesterday, with his cancer fully in remission, it was easily the best news to come out of Camelback all year. It was the epitome of ThinkCure!
I’ve written it here before and it’s worth repeating…these are the best parts of this job. The incredible things that the Dodger organization can do for others are what makes this franchise unique. We’ve seen it time and time again – maybe not quite as clear as Christopher’s story – but I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that we are humbled to work for such an incredible franchise.
In case you missed the original video and article from last year, check it out and please continue to keep Christopher and his family in your thoughts.