Fortitude and Determination

Mark Selavka

In mid-June, ABC News featured an inspiring article about 17 year-old Mark Selavka who is a pitcher for the Manchester High School Indians in Connecticut. Mark has cerebral palsy which is a neurological condition that has severely weakened the left side of his body, giving him only limited use of his left hand and a limp when he walks or runs. However, in spite of this Mark has become a Varsity pitcher who works in relief and specializes in off-speed pitches with accurate placement to get key outs.

According to Mark, his parents helped to change his attitude as a youngster when he suffered from the taunts of others and was ready to give up his dream of playing baseball:

“My dad always used to sit me down and say, ‘You can never say that again. Don’t say I can’t. It’s I can, I can, I can,'”

As an inspiration, Mark watched videos of Jim Abbott who was a one-handed pitcher for the New York Yankees and threw a no-hitter in 1993. Mark followed Abbott’s technique of throwing and catching with one arm, quickly putting on the glove after each pitch. Mark wears #25 in honor of Jim Abbott, who is his hero and example. Mark made the Varsity team this year as a junior after having tried out before and not made the cut. He made it this time by being the hardest working player on the roster without any special considerations.

Never give up, never give in.


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