A couple weeks ago South Mountain (Ariz.) Community College righthander Taylor Kaczmarek went in to see his doctor about swollen lymph nodes. Dealing with what appeared to be a case of mono, the 20-year-old Kaczmarek was sent home with antibiotics. When those antibiotics were ineffective, tests were done to see if Kaczmarek was facing something more serious.
“I had gotten a call and they said I had abnormal blood work and that I needed to go to the ER,” Kaczmarek said. “I just thought that something was faulty in the blood test and they were just having me go get tested again.”
On May 26 Kaczmarek and his family were told that he had leukemia. The sophomore from Mesa, Ariz. said that there were no warning signs about his illness.
“I really didn’t have any feeling about the cancer itself,” Kaczmarek said. “It was kind of a shock.”
In his second season at South Mountain this year Kaczmarek batted .343 and hit two home runs while playing first base. But it was his pitching that drew the attention of scouts, as Kaczmarek threw 81 innings and recorded 88 strikeouts while posting a 2.67 ERA. He was drafted in the 40th round by the Royals.. As a senior at Desert Ridge HS in 2010 Kaczmarek was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2010 in the 50th round before deciding to attend South Mountain.
An accomplished competitor on the mound, Kaczmarek now brings that same determination to his chemotherapy treatment.
“It’s just a bump in the road and we’re getting it out of the way,” Kaczmarek said. “I’m going to be on the mound again. I’m going to be playing pro ball soon enough.”
Unlike his battles on the mound though, for this one Kaczmarek will not be alone.
“I’ve had outrageous support,” Kaczmarek said. “My Facebook’s been blowing up by all the people who’ve been in contact with me through baseball. Opposing teams, enemies on other teams are messaging me and letting me know that they’re praying for me and what not. Everybody who I’ve played against, coaches that know me and just the whole baseball community throughout the whole country is just kind of coming together.”
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog