Video: Baseball player with cerebral palsy scores first runInspiring moment from senior Caleb Norling.Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.)
senior Caleb Norling
was asked a simple question: "How does it feel?"
He gave a simple answer: "It feels amazing. Absolutely amazing."
That was moments after Norling scored his first varsity run for the baseball team at Centennial.
Norling, who battles cerebral palsy, had just scampered down the third base line with the aid of his walker on wheels, following a two-out single by Tanner Bland
, one of his best friends.
According to this terrific story by Arizona Republic
reporter Richard Obert, Norling has been the team's bat boy for the last three seasons but head coach Mike Oesterle, with the unanimous backing of teammates, elevated him to designated two-out third-base runner.
Teammates affectionately nicknamed him "Ninety-feet Meat."
Doctors, Centennial's administration and the Arizona Interscholastic Association all cleared the designation and opposing teams clearly have the right to try to get Norling out. This isn't a staged event.
Norling's dad Troy, an assistant coach on the team, said Oesterle considered honoring Caleb with a token at-bat to lead off a game. Caleb declined.
"I want it to count or I'm not doing it," he told his dad.
After a few chances to score from third earlier in the season didn't pan out, Caleb tallied for the first time Monday in a 10-2 loss to Desert Mountain.
"I'm so excited to have this opportunity," he said before the game. "These guys have been unbelievable. The four years I've been here at Centennial have been incredible."
Before the game, senior Nick McAdams
said of Norling possibly scoring a run: "It's a pretty big deal. It's going to happen."
When it did, and Caleb crossed the plate, McAdams threw an arm around his friend, patted him twice on the head and on the backside. Caleb exchanged two more high fives before tipping his helmet to the crowd.
After that it was high fives and fist bumps all around.
His father, who videotaped the moment, posted it on YouTube. He included a message, which concluded with this: "It's been an awesome ride. God has blessed us so."Special thanks to Centennial High School and Troy Norling for the video