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Two Baseball Players Overcome Physical Limitations on the "Hay-Field of Dreams"

Article by:    Dave  Owens - ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Two of the 21 players on Hayfield Secondary School's JV baseball team are unlike the others, but on a baseball diamond known throughout the school as the "Hay-Field of Dreams," they fit right in with their teammates.  Read more:  http://www.highschoolsports.net/local/Washington/article/2-Hayfield-Players-Overcome-Physical-Limitations/

Mike Branca's left hand never fully developed. But his spirit is off the charts. He told us, "I just like coming out and playing everyday..." Physically maneuvering a glove and bat is hard enough with two hands but with only one, Branca said, "It came to me pretty easily...my dad helped me out too until I got to where I was able to do it." He pitches, so think Jim Abbott. Remember him? The one-handed Major Leaguer who tossed a no-hitter in 1993. Branca's coach, John Terrien, sees some similarities: "He throws real well and fields without a problem." It's pretty impressive. 

Still, Branca might just take a backseat to his teammate in the "wow department." Tyler Adair has both his hands but just one leg. "I was born with a bilateral club foot. It was pretty severe. They managed to save the right foot,"  he shared. But the left foot was amputated when he was two years old.  What he has now he describes: "...it's kind of like a black carbon fiber leg." What he lacks in speed, Adair makes up for in power and with his sense of humor. "I've actually gotten hit...and everybody looks at me like "Didn't that hurt?"  and I'm like, "no," said Adair. 

But what about their teammates? Well, there are 19 other Hawks that play on the field of dreams and when I asked them about Branca and Adair's physical limitations some of them scoffed and said, "Limitations? We can't even tell." And they don't treat the two players any differently.  Why would you? At first glance, it's hard to detect. Coach didn't: "When tryouts started, I didnt think they showed up. I didn't notice," said Terrien. 

They were going about their business, just like the rest of the Hawks.    

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