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Last Night, East Carolina Baseball Player Parker Byrd Became The First D1 Baseball Player To Play With A Prosthetic Leg

Barstool athletes, man. They are simply a different breed. It was opening night in college baseball last night, but I'm pretty sure we've already seen the most badass moment of the season. Parker Byrd, a sophomore at East Carolina, lost his leg in a boating accident in 2022 before he had the opportunity to suit up for ECU. Nineteen months and twenty-two surgeries later, Byrd returned to the dish last night, coming in for an at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Pirates' 16-2 victory against Rider.

It goes without saying, but the idea of having your leg chopped off by a boat propeller has to be on the Mt. Rushmore of most brutal injuries. This just shows how naturally athletic people are built differently than us normal folks, not just physically, but mentally. If I lost a leg, shit, if I broke a toe, I'm out. I'm done. I'm hanging it up. That's life telling me that I wasn't meant to play sports. I'll watch from the sidelines for the rest of my life. Parker Byrd is built differently.

Simply playing in a game like this is impressive enough, but Byrd left the game with an on-base percentage of 1.000 as he drew a walk in his first at-bat. Rumor has it that he's still not moving the way that he wants (totally forgivable), but this has the potential to become one of the more incredible sports stories of recent memory. It's incredible that he played, but what's his ceiling here? Can you imagine this dude developing extra-base power? He's still only a sophomore. There's plenty of time. Considering what he's gone through, it's impossible to root against him.

For anyone wondering, there has never been anyone at the Major League level who played with a prosthetic leg. You had guys like Jim Abbott, who unbelievably threw a no-hitter with one arm, but the closest we ever got to Parker Byrd was pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost his leg in a hunting accident in the last 30's. He tried to make a comeback but never made it past the Texas leagues. Byrd obviously has a long way to reach the bigs, but he was a highly touted recruit at a school in East Carolina that finds itself in the NCAA tournament consistently. It would be dope to see him in Omaha.