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SLIDING INTO THIRD

August 22, 2015

Certainly, Baseball has provided us a wonderful source of tropes for the adventure that is our life. I would like to write a prose poem for each of the four bases in an unselfconsciously relaxed style, relating the intensity and sense of confrontation in the runner subsequent to he or she sending that ball far up and out into the green, but unaware of just how out of reach it may become for a slightly frazzled outfielder, each base approached with fierce willingness to risk getting stomped, racing against that ball…but I don’t know anything about baseball that comic cards can’t tell you.

Of course there is the low hanging…well, fruit, that could be expounded upon. And, in ways more obvious to some than others, your chief producer here would be perfect for picking it. But.

But for now, let us ponder the majestic efforts of 2nd baseman and all around re-enabled star base runner, Andre Lunez of New West Conference’s Sun Belt Division’s Flagstaff Fliers. One of many of Baseball’s Unlikeliest Handi Heroes League (BUHHL)*

Andre Lunez4FlagstaffFliers

Entering the league with the Casper Friendly Ghost Limbs in 2024 as a right fielder, Lunez found his groove in Flagstaff the following year as a second basemen after impressing the Fliers coaching staff with his insightful observations about 2nd base.

Lunez was born with Phocomelia, an extremely rare disorder that causes malformation of the limbs (among other parts). Fortunately for Lunez, his magnificent legs, minus a curlycue-like toe, were spared through out his development and he attracted attention as a star track runner all through out his school days. Growing up in the Dominican Republic gave Lunez plenty of opportunity to play baseball and prove his worth as a fielder. But with those little arms, there wasn’t a specialized bat anywhere that could allow him to hit anything but easy outs and foul balls. It wasn’t until his family and friends raised enough money to buy a pair of prosthetic arms that he considered it possible to be in a starting line up. Then, in 2022 Plastikython, Prosthetics, Inc. revolutionized the DME market by focusing on what it called “hyper-custom-made”, investing heavily in R & D and borrowing disabled and deformed subjects to design the perfect appendages and replacements. Interestingly enough, Plastikython’s largest demographic of consumers of its products were the non deformed wealthy who wanted to wean themselves off of or substitute plastic surgery for extra artificial limbs that they could simply slip over their actual ones. The results of this planned experimentation gave sufferers of Phocomelia and other physically debilitating conditions hope for the future. None more than Lunez who obtained a pair of arms that allowed him a bat swinging extension of 3 times his original. The prosthetics also come with a dejection mechanism that allows Lunez to discard them quickly upon a successful hit (The prosthetic limb covers each weigh about 13 pounds).

And Lunez gets plenty of them for the Flagstaff Fliers, batting 314. and leading the New West Conference in doubles–and face first slides into second, third and home, Lunez’s contribution to the reinvented game has put the Fliers in contention for a playoff spot for the first time in 7 years, and has reignited the debate between the baseball scholars about which kind of individual adaptation constitutes the single greatest step forward, the technological (proshetic-orthotic) or the human ones. Naturally, in all of our pride most of us want to say the latter, but along comes the great Andre Lunez and others like him, almost whispering, almost salaciously, pleading, “come on guys, embrace the cyborg in all of us”! And so we do.

*

  • the semi professional league that captured the zeitgeist of twenty twenties and thirties USA in all of its stubborn glory. As the country carries on amid environmental catastrophes after economic crisis and political upheaval it rediscovers its former national pastime from an unlikely body of men and women with challenged bodies and/or minds who would form a professional ball league that managed to break the monopoly of the faltering Major League Baseball Association. Now don’t you be expecting inspiration porn. This is support of the invisible citizens of the world, in its most brutal and unsentimental”, be prepared to think about the human body in ways that you never thought you had to. And then learn about America’s game, reinvented.

 

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