Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Athlete born without legs takes batting practice with Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays had another special guest Friday as Dave Stevens, who was born without legs and has worked out with several baseball teams as well as the Dallas Cowboys, joined them for batting practice.

Stevens wrestled and played football and baseball in high school, and continued with wrestling and football in college. He has also played briefly with the St. Paul Saints independent league team and had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys. He currently works as an assigment editor for ESPN, which documented Friday's activities.

Now 45, Stevens said Friday's workout was the highlight, as he fielded ground balls with the Rays during infield practice and went into the cage to take swings - and hit a few hard - hit off Triple-A pitching coach Neil Allen. "This topped them all,'' Stevens said. "This was amazing. I'm on such a high. It's hard for me to describe. I'm almost speechless. ... This is beyond fantasy camp, beyond a dream come true.''

Stevens, who is participating in a celebrity amputee golf tournament, will also take part in the major-league alumni baseball game on Sunday in Clearwater.

Stevens said he doesn't like when people single him out as a hero or an inspiration, but if he does provide hope for others, that's okay too. "I'm just me,'' he said. "But if people see me on the field as something good, then that's great.''

Athlete born without legs takes batting practice with Tampa Bay Rays 03/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 12:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.
  2. Lightning opens day two of draft by taking Russian forwards


    After taking a big, right-shot defenseman in the first round, the Lightning's second day of the NHL Draft was headlined by a couple skilled Russian forwards.

  3. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.