A high school senior in the Los Angeles area is currently making the best of a bad situation and inspiring everyone who discovers his story. That tale is one that’s rarely heard in the aftermath of shootings that take place within the heart of the inner city.
Ruben Marin was simply walking home from a graduation party with a teammate on the Narbonne High School baseball team in June 2015 when his life changed forever. That was when his attempts at avoiding a drive-by shooting eventually resulted in Marin losing the lower portion of his left leg.
Marin, who wasn’t sure if he was simply the victim of mistaken identity, underwent a number of surgeries before amputation became the only solution. He was then fitted with a prosthetic leg and is currently back on the baseball team.
Originally, the plan was for Marin to play shortstop for the Narbonne varsity. However, the shooting made Marin a pitcher, where he has thrown in both relief and in a starting capacity. Currently, he serves as a starter during the team’s Saturday games.
Following the amputation, Marin was visited by some Paralympic athletes, including Rudy Garcia-Tolson and Blake Leeper. Those two medalists from the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, respectively, both offered encouragement. Garcia-Tolson’s appearance was especially striking as he walked into Marin’s hospital room with five gold medals around his neck.
That inspiration continues to drive Marin, whose classroom performance has improved. For good measure, his performance on the mound resulted in Narbonne winning their first game. The only current drawback he has with respect to his prosthesis is that he’s having trouble fielding bunts.
Marin’s head coach, Bill Dillon, noted that the senior’s character has allowed him to get past his handicap. Plus, that ability to thrive in games eliminates any belief that Marin is being treated as a charity case.
Graduating in June, Marin is looking ahead to college and hopes to get the opportunity to play baseball at that level. At minimum, Marin has spoken of his amazement at simply being alive.