CANTON, Ohio—The 20-year-old left-handed pitcher and former all American at Cuyahoga Community College, made his debut Sunday for the Rocky Mountain Vibes of Colorado.
- Overcame a series of strokes and seizures as a child to pursue his dream as a professioal baseball player
- Plays for the Rocky Mountain Vibes team, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers
- Pitched two innings, gave up an earned run and struck out two in his debut on June 23
The start came just weeks after being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 11th round of the MLB draft.
“It's been my dream since I was 14 to get drafted. I was just, just like really happy. I went back in and told my friends I was lifting with. It was just a great moment,” said Brock Begue.
Begue’s father Mark and mother Annette are his biggest fans.
And what began as a dream on the baseball field in their backyard may one day become a ticket to the big show.
“How many parents can say that my kid's going to play professional baseball? It's very unrealistic. But I knew Brock was a pretty good athlete. And I knew that was an avenue for him,” said Mark Begue.
But Brock was never supposed to be in this position.
Shortly after birth he suffered a stroke and uncontrollable seizures.
His parents say they were told by doctors if Brock survived, he'd have a learning disability, lose virtually all function of his right arm, and potentially walk with a limp.
“We didn't know what was going to happen here,” said Mark Begue. “We had ‘em give him his last rites, baptized him, went to Rainbows, they put him in a medically induced coma for about a week to stop the seizures, and when he came out, they were gone.”
Brock went on to a normal childhood and found comfort in athletics, starting on the baseball and basketball teams for Marlington High School.
College scouts took notice, but during his senior year, he tore his ACL playing basketball and his grades took a hit.
Many of the colleges who were previously interested backed off.
That only motived Brock, and after 13 weeks of rehabbing with his father, an exercise physiologist, he returned for his senior season of baseball.
Later that fall, Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College and head coach Evan Agona—who had shown interested since his junior year—gave the lefty the opportunity to succeed at the next level.
“We knew that we could help him, achieve his dreams, and get a chance to play college baseball, and hopefully have a chance to do well academically which I know he struggled with. You have to find a place that fits for you, and for him, I think we were that place,” said Tri-C Head Baseball Coach Evan Agona.
And Brock responded, his grades improved, and over the course of two years he became an All-American, winning 21 games and striking out 224 batters.
“I think Brock learned that nothing's going to be given to him,” said Mark Begue. “And baseball will teach you that. Part of what has made Brock a good pitcher is his frame of mind. He's a very calm kid. You don't get the big ups and big downs with him.”
Brock says he's had to mature fast, and adapt quickly to his new setting in Colorado.
He looks forward to seeing his parents and siblings over the summer when they come to visit.
And his advice is to never give up if you find yourself dealing with circumstances beyond your control.
“I'm not scared of nobody, like, it doesn't matter who I face, no matter where I’m at in the professional standings. Keeps me motived just to play baseball every single day,” said Brock Begue.
You can follow Brock’s journey here.