No, you read the headline right.â†µ
The Astros selected Buddy Lamothe, a relief pitcher for the San Jacinto Gators, in the 40th round of this year's draft. Only he will never suit up for the Astros. Nor will he ever suit up for any of the Astros' minor league affiliates.â†µ
Lamothe was paralyzed in a swimming accident last month in San Marcos. A dive gone wrong injured his spine and ultimately cost him his pitching career. Lamothe was having a stellar season before his life-changing injury; he had a .86 ERA and struck out 27 batters in just 21 innings. He was San Jacinto's top relief pitcher. Instead of Major League aspirations, he will instead work towards walking again.â†µ
Lamothe was not the only paralyzed player taken; the Rangers also selected Johnathan Taylor in the 33rd round. Taylor, a University of Georgia product, was paralyzed after an outfield collision with Rangers second-round pick Zach Cone.â†µ
The Astros have been anything but good on the field this year, so it's nice to see them do something good for the community. I can't imagine what the Lamothe family has been going through, but I hope this move touched their hearts as much as it did mine.