The sporting goods jordan leandre winds up pitching career – news – barnstable patriot – hyannis, ma yale b database

It’s not every day a high school kid can google his name and find himself listed on the internet movie database as an actor, becomes an internet sensation on youtube, and be on a first-name basis with red sox legend david ortiz.

Sure, he pitches on the red raiders baseball squad, takes a regular load of courses, and hangs out with his buddies like any typical senior. However, he has also lived quite a lifetime in his 17 short years.

He was diagnosed with ewing’s sarcoma at the age of two and a half and had a bone removed from his ankle that was inserted into his hip. Over the next five years he went from cast, to a wheelchair, to a walker.

“it made my legs uneven, but it’s not as bad as it used to be,” jordan said.Impossible dream team “I don’t have a shoe lift anymore.

It left me with a little bit of a limp, but that’s just about it.”

Perhaps it was fueled when he spent 11 months in chemo treatment at the dana-farber/boston children’s cancer center with members of the red sox team frequent visitors to the children’s wing.

“I remember being three-years-old and in a brace, playing catch with my dad,” jordan recalled. “I’ve always had an interest in baseball; playing since I was 6 or 7 in a wheelchair. I’d hit the ball and someone would run for me.”

The days in the cancer unit are still a bit fuzzy. He remembers running around the halls, tossing basketballs, and playing with the other youthful patients there.Dream team

He developed a relationship with ortiz during his first season at fenway, after the red sox designated hitter wheeled him through the red sox clubhouse to greet the players when leandre was only about four-years-old.

“I got to meet everybody,” he enthused. “I got a picture of myself getting a fist-bump with jon lester. Later, when I found out he was going through cancer, I wrote him a card and there were two pictures of me: one when I was bald going through chemo and the other a few years later. I wrote, ‘I did this, and so can you.’”

While he never heard back from lester and was never sure if he even got his got his well wishes, he is pleased to know the lefty also beat cancer.Impossible dream

After he was cleared to walk without his walker in august of 2007, he appeared at fenway to sing the anthem and throw out the first pitch prior to a game honoring the 1967 red sox.

Then, at the urging of jimmy fund president and former sox second baseman mike andrews, jordan chugged unsteadily around the bases before being greeted at home plate by the members of the impossible dream team.

“when I walked out onto the field, he pointed at me and said, ‘dude, I haven’t seen you in so long. You’ve gotten so big,’” recalled jordan, smiling.

Last summer, the impossible dream team reunited for its 50th anniversary, also during the jimmy fund telethon, and once again jordan was asked to throw out the first pitch.Impossible dream team

As jordan made his way to the mound, this time much older and more aware of his surroundings, his nerves may have caught up to him. After all, he is a varsity pitcher, but was working off a major league mound in front of some 30,000 fans.

The ball sailed over the catcher’s head in an arc toward the backstop, striking an unknowing photographer in – let’s say – a very vulnerable spot below the belt.

“I’d thrown out first pitches before (five, to be exact),” he said, looking back. “I just think in that situation it just slipped out of my hand. It happens, I guess.”

“he said to me, ‘you didn’t quite get me where everyone seems to think you got me, so I’m not mad about it.’ I was pretty relieved about that.”

impossible dream

Here’s hoping that jordan will throw a lot more pitches this season — straight and hard — and continue to do big things for the barnstable baseball team.