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It’s said nothing comes free in this world and in order to achieve a dream, a person has to struggle with adversity and challenges. It would seem as though Elsberry student Michael Ligon learned this first hand, in what was supposed to be an opportunity of a life time quickly became a minor road block for his aspiring baseball career.
On June 14, Ligon along with his family hit the road, making their way to Omaha, NE, where Ligon was set to participate in the MAHA National Tournament.
“When I found out I made it, I was just kind of excited. I was supposed to go to the one in December but my grandma ended up passing away and I couldn’t go,” Ligon said. “But the people putting it on told me not to worry about it they’d get me in somewhere else and then this came up and I was grateful to be able to go.”
Ligon said approximately 80 students from across Missouri tried out for the event and he was the one they selected. According to http://baseballfactory.com, Omaha, becomes the center of the baseball universe for two weeks each year and only select players are given the opportunity to take part in, what they call, a baseball extravaganza combining training, tournament play and the College World Series.
“From the time I got the call till the time we got to Omaha, I wasn’t really nervous about it until the day I got there. I was mostly just like, ‘lets go !’ This is a huge opportunity for me,’” Ligon said. “For the time I had I did good.”
Unfortunately, Ligon was only able to play in two of the games. Due to a reoccurring staph infection, he was admitted into the hospital shortly after his second game.
“I woke up that morning and I felt a pinch in my knee but I just thought it was soreness from all the workouts we’d been doing. So I was like, ‘OK, I’ll just play through it,’ and I played our game, which was an early morning game. It didn’t really hurt to bad at that point so I went and did some more workouts and then it progressively began getting worse,” Ligon said. “I was still just blaming it on soreness. So then we started doing the 60-yard dash and by the end of that I just couldn’t walk anymore.”
Ligon said he went and spoke with the medical coach, where he began asking questions. Ligon told the coach that he is prone to staph infections, in fact this would make the third one in three years. However, he typically gets them during the high school baseball season.
“The coach told me to just head up to my room and try and relax and if it gets any worse to come back and tell him,” Ligon said. “So, that’s what I did. I went and took a hot shower but by the time I got out it hurt so bad I couldn’t take it anymore and went and talked to the coach again.”
That day Ligon said he left and was immediately admitted into the hospital, where he spent the rest of the week. According to Ligon, the doctors told him an in-grown hair, a mosquito bite or even a scratch could have caused the infection. However, following his first experience with staff infection he was told, once a person gets it once they are more prone to reoccurrences.
“I ended up staying the rest of the week in the hospital, actually until the day I was set to leave, which was a Wednesday,” Ligon said. “That day they gave me the go ahead to come back to Missouri to get my meds and treatment and to pretty much recover.”
Although, he was only able to play two of his games Ligon said it was a great time. In fact, one his proudest moments was during his first game, which was also the first game of the day against the Tigers, as all the teams were named after the colleges playing in the 2012 World Series.
“They positioned me at center field, which made me a little nervous because I’m so used to third base, I didn’t know if I’d be able to read the ball coming from the bat,” Ligon said. “Anyway, the very first play of the game was hit to me and I ended up making a diving play for the catch and the out. After that I was like, ‘Alright this isn’t that hard.”
The second game he played was against the Seminoles. Unfortunately, Ligon said they lost both games in the last inning.
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