Earlier this week, Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis revealed that he had undergone surgery for testicular cancer in late November. The prognosis looks good and Bettis and the Rockies believe he will be ready when spring training rolls around in February.
The announcement was a shock to many in the baseball community. It also hopefully served as a wake-up call to men around the country that this type of cancer can strike anyone, even professional athletes.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” In the days since his battle was revealed, Bettis has been doing exactly that.
There are all sorts of statistics we can look at when it comes to baseball players. People, including me, will look at ERA, WHIP, and many other acronyms to try to measure just how good a pitcher is. It’s been done time and time again over the years. However, there is no statistic that shows the size of someone’s heart and the amount of courage he has in his body.
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We can talk about wins and losses and dominating performances like Bettis exhibited on Labor Day against the San Francisco Giants … but does that really tell us who a player is underneath his jersey?
No, but things like this do…
When teammates are talking about you like that after you’ve just been dealt some pretty life-changing news, that says all you need to know about Bettis and the kind of leadership he is showing under intense circumstances.
Certainly we all cheer for Bettis when he’s taking the mound for the Rockies. However, we often forget there’s a person under that uniform as well. He’s not just a pitcher. He’s a human being as well.
Through this battle, Bettis is setting an example not only for his teammates for the rest of us as well. When something hits you hard, you muster the strength and courage to hit right back. That’s something that no amount of statistics will ever be able to show or replicate.
Kick cancer’s butt, Chad. We’re all behind you.