13-year-old “retires” from baseball in Alabaster

(WIAT-TV, Kaitlin McCulley)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1370212354&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&pl_id=21958&show_title=1&va_id=4081188&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1370212354 type=script]ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) — Bishop Heidenbach is a young man of many talents. He’s not only mastered several sports; he’s mastered them while using only one arm.

“I don’t want to give up,” Bishop says.

Bishop was born with a rare lung disease and was placed into the NICU shortly after birth. At the age of three months, he suffered a stroke, leaving him unable to control his right arm, among other challenges.

“He wasn’t crawling,” Mother Lori Heidenbach says, “He didn’t walk until he was three.”

But that didn’t stop Bishop from doing everything a healthy child could do and more. Bishop has played baseball since he was seven years old. He’s not signing up to play this year. He’s hanging up the cleats at the age of 13.

“After he watched the first game, he watched his friends out there,” Lori says, “And he was like, ‘oh yeah, I love being the manager.'”

Lori says the first time she cried was during a trip to the batting cages.

“I was watching him do machine pitch. It was raining, it was cold, and probably 30 balls went past him,” she says. “And not one time did he step away from the plate or throw his bat down.”

Now, Bishop has his sights set on yet another sport — golf.

Who knows what will be next for Bishop. For now, he has traded his bat for a club; all the while, he’s encouraging all of us to keep on swinging.

*** Music in video is courtesy of Erik Balkey, www.erikbalkey.com.***

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