Rob Brown: Cancer Survivor and Baseball Warrior
Submitted by Steve Bromberg, General Manager, PSSBL Smokey
Rob Brown has been a Puget Sound Senior Baseball League player since 1999 and is an original member and co-founder of the Sierra/Smoky
Islanders. Rob and I are the only
remaining members from that original 1999 team. He is 64 years old and made his 2016 debut on August 28 in our
next-to-last game of the regular season. Why is this significant? Let me explain.
Shortly after our 2015 season ended last September, Rob was
diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Ironically, it was a baseball injury that led to
the diagnosis, which may not otherwise have been discovered. By last December
Rob had lost a significant amount of weight and just standing for a short
period or short walks were major accomplishments. One of his early stated goals
was to get an AB before the end of the 2016 season. With thanks to the league
for approving the one game appearance, Rob made two successful plate
appearances and even played an inning in left field. Sure enough, the first
three batters hit fly balls in Rob’s general direction, resulting in one
routine catch, one sliding catch, and a near miss on another sliding attempt.
As for Rob's prognosis, I'll let Rob tell you himself with
this excerpt from his latest Caring Bridge post:
"Last Thursday I received more good news from my latest
CT scan,” explained Rob. "The tumors are continuing to shrink (15-27%
from three months ago) and there have been no new growths. So chemo will
continue every three weeks and I will hope to get stronger every day!"
It is not too much of a stretch to say that baseball played
a big part in Rob’s path to recovery. It also helps put into perspective all of
our whining about pulled hamstrings and sore arms. I’m sure Rob’s constant
positive attitude helped get him back on the field so quickly and helps explain
why he has also been a mainstay of Islander baseball for the past 17 years. Welcome Back, Rob!
JC Beeson: Patched Up and as Strong as Ever!
JC Beeson plays for the 10-8-2 Braves in the 25+ Ettare division of the San Jose MSBL in California. He has been playing in the SJMSBL for five years. Over those years he has
torn his ACL, meniscus, which he originally injured in the same knee playing
Junior College ball when he was 19, and took a one inch by one inch chunk out
of the cartilage in his right knee a couple years ago in fall ball. He
originally tore it in November, went back to school full time and finally had
surgery in the end of March. He amazingly made it back for the playoffs fivemonths after the surgery. This is his second season back since the surgery yet
came back strong enough to make the league All-Star team!
In his first season back from injuries he rolled his left
ankle and ruptured a tendon. It has been
a journey for JC to get back on the field, with rehab and lots of hours in the
gym during the off season to get into the best shape he’s been in since joining the SJMSBL. Good luck on an injury free fall season and 2017,