Dodgers' Kyle Farmer, Alex Wood share a tattoo tribute to pa

Dodgers' Kyle Farmer, Alex Wood share a tattoo tribute to pa

Postautor: lucky » 7 sie 2017, o 05:25

Kyle Farmer took a moment to savor the scene at Nelson Cruz #23 Womens jersey Dodger Stadium late Sunday night, during the brief interlude between Justin Turner crossing home plate with the winning run and the entire Los Angeles roster charging from the dugout to tear the shirt off his back and douse him in Gatorade. He raised his arms in triumph and smiled, and the sliver of black ink on the inside of his left biceps cracked open a window to his heart. Farmer had just flashed back to his college days to summon the coolness under pressure to deliver in a tight spot. In his first major league at-bat, he stroked a 96 mph four-seamer from Albert Suarez for a two-run double in the 11th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The tattoo on Farmer's arm, which revealed the message "Second Chance" in a mix of Olde English caps and sans-serif font, is his personal tribute to Chance Veazey, a former University of Georgia teammate Willie Young Womens Jersey whose baseball career ended when he was paralyzed from the waist down in a scooter accident in 2009. Eight years later, multiple life paths and storylines -- all narrated in Southern drawls -- have intersected 2,200 miles from the Athens campus in Los Angeles. David Perno, the former Georgia baseball coach, watched Farmer's climactic hit from a cabin in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Within two minutes, he received a text from his wife and another from Brett DeLoach, the starting catcher on those old Georgia teams. Did you see what Kyle just did? they asked in amazement.
"One of the things I always told Kyle was, 'The back door is always open. When things are on the line, you've gotta hit the ball the other way,'" Perno says. "I saw that hit so many times in my career, I knew it was money. That son of a gun. He was born to be a big leaguer." Dodgers starter Alex Wood led the surge from the dugout and helped gang-tackle Farmer at second base. Wood is also a product of the Georgia baseball program and a close friend of Chance Veazey's, and he has the same "Second Chance" tattoo on his arm. "It was the coolest moment of my whole career," Wood says. "I was more nervous for his first at-bat than I was for my own debut. It's always special when great things happen to great people, and Kyle is as deserving as anyone I know." Veazey was watching from his Georgia living room when the ball rattled around the right-field corner and Farmer introduced himself to a national audience on ESPN. Veazey is unable to walk and spends his days in a wheelchair, but he's getting a vicarious thrill this summer watching former Bulldogs Wood, Josh Fields and now Farmer play for a Los Angeles team Authentic Danny Woodhead Womens Jersey laying waste to the National League West standings en route to 110-plus victories. Veazey felt such an adrenaline surge watching the Dodgers' victory that he stayed up until 3:30 in the morning posting a video on Snapchat and waiting to speak with Farmer and his parents by phone. On Monday, he spent several hours searching Google and combing YouTube for every smidgen of media coverage. "I went absolutely nuts when I saw it," he says. "I went ballistic. Yelling. Screaming. Laughing and crying. There were a whole bunch of emotions. I came into work a little late the next morning." He laughed when it was suggested that he might have felt more freedom to emote given that he was watching the game alone at home. "I wouldn't have cared if I was in a library," he says. "I would have had the same reaction." It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. Wood and Farmer draw inspiration from Veazey and Johnathan Taylor, another former Bulldog who is showing resilience after being paralyzed from the chest down in an outfield collision with a teammate in 2011. And Taylor and Veazey are seeing their lost baseball dreams play out through their fellow Bulldogs on Georgia's Chavez Ravine satellite campus. "When you have a best friend who is very good in baseball, and it's taken away from him and you get an opportunity to live out his dream -- and that was your dream as well -- you kind of feel like you're playing for him," Farmer says. "Chance is always calling and asking questions, like, 'Do you think I could have played [in the big leagues]? How tough is it?' I think about him every time I step on the field, because I know for a fact he had the ability to do this. It kind of pushes you to play better and harder for him." Wood derives similar motivation from his former teammates. He has sewn the initials C.V.J.T. inside the thumb of every baseball glove he's worn since his professional debut with the Atlanta Braves organization in 2012. "When I look at those initials, I get emotional sometimes," Wood says. "Every time I see it, it reminds me how fortunate I am to be doing what I love and that I'm doing this for more than just me. I'm doing it for them."
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