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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Pitcher overcomes obstacles to follow in father’s footsteps

Junior pitcher Grant Wright launches the ball from his unorthodox side-arm delivery. Photo credit: Cam Lesslie

For junior pitcher Grant Wright, playing the game of baseball runs in his veins. His father, Scott Wright, is the all-time saves leader at Cal State Fullerton and was drafted by the Pirates. He went as far as triple A, and is a big reason that Grant Wright loves and plays the game today.

“I love the game and think it’s the greatest in the world,” Grant Wright said. “Other people have different opinions, but I just think it’s a beautiful game.”

In his senior year in high school, he broke his back while playing football. At first he wasn’t sure if he would ever get to play baseball again.

“There was a little bit of nervousness going into surgery, but once it was all over I was confident that I would be able to play again,” Grant Wright said.

As a father, hearing your son broke his back is one of the worst feelings in the world.

“It was definitely one of the scariest moments for me as a parent,” Scott Wright said. “When the doctors told us what kind of break it was, we knew he’d be OK. We were confident that he would play baseball again.”

Football, on the other hand, was out of the question. After going through rehab and getting back to full strength, there was some concern on how the surgery would affect his throwing motion being a side-arm pitcher.

A side-arm pitcher is a pitcher who does not raise his arm above the shoulder, and the ball is thrown with a sideways sweep of the arm between shoulder and hip.

“Just the way I pitch coming from the side arm, it’s a lot of twisting motion down at the hips. (It) was difficult at first, but with the rehab and working out, I healed well,” Grant Wright said.

Junior Grant Wright winds up to throw a pitch, focusing on the catcher. Photo credit: Cam Lesslie

One of the main reasons that he throws side-arm is because he was born without a right pectoral muscle. A lot of players struggle to learn this way of pitching, but for him it just came naturally.

“When I flex or anything it’s just flat, and if I flex a different way it just becomes like a little pocket,” Grant Wright said.

One good thing that came out of throwing side-arm is that his dad actually threw side-arm as well and can give him helpful hints to improve his pitching.

“It’s great that I can help him with the little things,” Scott Wright said. “Grant has a little bit more understanding on how to control your body with certain pitches, and he’s in a lot better shape than I was.”

After a successful rehab, Grant Wright was actually able to play in his senior year. After that he went to Napa Valley Junior College before coming to Chico State.

He is having a great season as a relief pitcher and has appeared in eight games and still holds an earned run average of 0.00.

Being able to play the game you love at the college level is something not a lot of people get to experience, and Grant Wright is cherishing every moment.

“Every day is honestly the best memory for me so far. They just keep on coming and coming,” Grant Wright said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.

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