This is Rocco Amendola, a senior at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon, PA, who looks a bit like Randy Quaid because he was hit in the face by an errant warmup throw and lost an eye. He was walking through the dugout one day last June when an outfielder overthrew a reserve. Amendola caught it with his eye socket. He broke a bunch of bones in his face and doctors removed his eyeball. They literally took his eyeball out of his head and told him he’d never play baseball again.
This season, he’s batting over .400.
“I had my doubts,” Norwin coach Mike Liebdzinski said. “I wouldn’t say I’m amazed, but I am surprised.”
Mr. Amendola, who bats seventh in the lineup, is hitting .429 with a double and one RBI. He has helped Norwin to a 5-0 record.
He’s left-handed, so his good eye (his “actual eye”) is his lead eye at the plate. After reteaching himself to bat from a tee, Amendola now has “no limitations,” as depth perception is I guess an overrated sabermetric concept. Amendola hopes to play ball in college, and even if his batting average drops a hundred points, he’ll still be better with one eye than Aubrey Huff with two.
You can read more about this kid’s amazing story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but I have to warn you that the article was either written up by a teenager with authority issues or Marcy from the Peanuts, because there is a lot of “mister” going around. Mr. Amendola took a swing. Then Mr. Amendola talked to Mr. Liebdzinski and then went to see Mr. Doctor. Come on, kid, you’re writing on the Internet now, show some disrespect.