LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – When it comes to making it on the Louisville baseball team, Head Coach Dan McDonnell has one simple rule.
“There is no entitlement,” said McDonnell. “You have to earn your keep.”
Basically, you got to work hard.
You got to be there early. You have to stay late. You essentially have to do, what Todd Esser does every day.
“He is always around and he inspires us to be better people” said senior outfielder Colin Lyman.
And he does it all, just by showing up.
The 46 year-old suffers from cerebral palsy. Getting around via his motorized wheel chair isn’t easy but nothing seems to stop him from being with his beloved Cards.
“This is world. This is his life. He loves all sports but he’s able to come out and be hands on,” said dad Fritz.
“Sometimes we’ll have our own little meeting on the field and he is right in the middle of it,” said coach McDonnell.
For 10 years, that’s been the story at Jim Patterson Stadium. After going to his first game Esser was hooked.
Soon he started going to practices. Then he started going to every practice.
“It wasn’t like we looked at him and felt sorry for him,” said McDonnell. It was like; this guy really loves us and spends a lot of time supporting us. So that’s how the friendship grew.
Through time, Esser became just one of the guys. He’ll cheer them after a great play and get on them when things go wrong.
“Todd is a really funny guy,” said Lyman. “He’ll bag on us. If you tell him you bombed on a test, he’ll be like ‘what the heck?’”
He’s part of the team; enjoying every moment from the team’s incredible run to the Super Regionals
“We just take one game at a time,” says Todd.
And maybe, they’ll be taking it to Omaha.
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