Many around the state as well as the nation were looking forward to the first full season for Arizona Diamondbacks rookie outfielder Adam Eaton. However, he has been sidelined for the 2013 season to this point because of a UCL sprain in his elbow.
Taking a break from his work to get back on the field, Eaton visited people of all ages that are working day and night to make comebacks of their own at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.
“My wife and I were talking on the way over here about how petty our life issues are,” said Eaton on Wednesday. “When you come here, you see how grateful you are. These people and their passion for what they’re doing and their patience for their condition or what they are in here for is amazing.”
Eaton took time to talk with all of the patients present in rehabilitation center in the Institute laughing, talking baseball, life experiences and signing autographs. People from all different walks of life couldn’t help but light up when getting the chance to sit with him. However, Eaton says he was the one who’s spirit was lifted.
“Their drive is bar-none,” explained Eaton. “They are excited everyday that they get to walk or step up onto a box it’s amazing. And we’re here worried about money or what’s going to go on tomorrow and these people cant even walk. So it’s something special to be able to come in here and I think they are doing more for me than I am for them.”
Eaton took the time to share stories with a number of the patients for many minutes at a time. All of them had an impact on him.
“A girl is in here because of a drunk driving accident from her father and another guy is in here because he is a rodeo guy and his horse bucked him off,” Eaton said. “It comes in all different shapes and sizes and they all have stories and are trying to get better…It’s touching.”
As mentioned Eaton has been doing to rehabbing of his own trying to get back out on the field. Eaton acknowledges that he has had more than his share of frustrating moments in the process, and talked about those types of moments with the patients.
“I talked a little bit about it with some of them and it’s not even on the same shelf,” Eaton mentioned. “They are working through some big time struggles and I have a little slight strain so it’s definitely going to make me work harder for sure.”
Eaton is slated to return to the field on May 9th barring any setbacks and is hoping this new motivation from his experience at Barrow on Wednesday can have him more than ready to do so. He mentioned that he hopes to say hello to the new friends he made when they get out of the hospital and come out to a Diamondbacks game.
“I talked to many of them that do come to games and I told them when they come to make sure they yell at me,” Eaton said. “I will definitely come over and say hello to them and see who they are doing.”