Ryan Westmoreland to retire from baseball
While baseball is no stranger to “feel good” stories, underdogs, and miracles there are times when our prayers go unanswered, that is unfortunately the case for Ryan Westmoreland who recently announced his retirement.
Westmoreland was once toted as the top prospect in the Sox farm system, he was signed out of high school and chose to choose a career with the Sox over pursuing a college degree. It all seemed to work out, he hit .296 with seven homeruns in 60 games for the Lowell Spinners, and was poised to surge through the minor leagues and join the Boston Red Sox.
Disaster struck though as doctors found a cavernous malformation close to Westmoreland’s brain, requiring immediate attention. The surgery saved his life but it cost him much of his mobility and his ability to play baseball, something as natural to him as taking a walk yet now entirely foreign.
Westmoreland regained the ability to walk, take care of himself, and then set out to relearn how to play baseball. Two long years later and he was back on the field after a series of long steps towards recovery. In the winter of 2011 Westmoreland participated in the Dominican Winter League and seemed quite optimistic about his return to baseball.
“It, surprisingly, felt very similar,” Westmoreland said. “Once I stepped into the batter’s box, I felt comfortable. I kept thinking to myself, ‘This is the game I’ve always played.’ I had confidence in my abilities to do this. Just the fact that I was getting back in there after the past year and a half or two years meant a lot to me. Once I dug in and was ready to hit, everything else was out. It was all baseball. It was just doing what I grew up doing and I know how to do.”
His return to the major league level seemed far too improbable though as the road to recovery appeared to never reach an end. Marred by continuous setbacks and tired of the tortuous struggle, Westmoreland has had enough.
“With a clear mind and heart, as well as the unwavering support and friendship of my family, friends, agent(s), doctors, therapists and the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to voluntarily retire as a professional baseball player” Westmoreland announced.
While the fans would certainly love a “Disney ending” for Westmoreland’s life, he has had enough and wants to move on. Professional baseball and a spot on the Sox’s 40-man roster seems to be far out of his limits, but a college degree and possible career in sports does not. Best of luck to Ryan Westmoreland, your hard work and dedication will serve you well in the future.