Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aiming at the Majors

Ryan Ketchner is working his way to the major leagues. He’s pitching for a minor league team in Tennessee called the Diamond Jaxx, a double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Ketchner was born deaf. Hearing aids give the left-hander about 10% hearing ability. Ketchner was Seattle's 10th-round pick in the 2000 draft and earned the USA Deaf Sports Federation male athlete of the year in 2003. He had a 3.45 earned-run average and won playoff MVP honours for the California League-champion Inland Empire 66ers. In 2004, he was a Southern League all-star with Double-A Jacksonville. But arm trouble lead to surgery in 2005. If Ketchner makes it to the big leagues, he would be the first deaf major league pitcher in one hundred years.