Spring 2021 Magazine

One-Armed Middle School Catcher Inspires Major League Baseball Teams

It’s tough to play catcher at any level, but playing with one arm seems near impossible.

That is, until you watch Luke Terry play.

The eighth grader from Cornersville Middle School in Tennessee isn’t just on the team as a nice gesture: the kid can play. He’s the starting catcher on the team and bats third in the lineup.

Luke had his right arm amputated at 19 months after contracting E. coli that attacked the arm.

“They put the PICC line in his arm (to treat the E. coli),” Dana Terry, Luke’s mother, told the Tennessean last month. “And the bacteria went to his arm, where the PICC line was. It just started eating his arm away.

“They had to put (the PICC line) in because he had to have so many shots and blood drawn so much that his veins were just mush.”

Dana said her son flatlined three times on the operating table, but has persevered to get to where he is today.

Video: One-armed catcher excels on baseball diamond

Cornersville Middle eighth-grader Luke Terry's arm was amputated when he was an infant. But he hasn't let that stop him. He's overcome the odds to keep playing the game at a high level. His inspiring story: http://tnne.ws/2p30h6s

Posted by Tennessean on Monday, May 1, 2017

 

Terry has a unique style as a catcher and has turned it into art form. When he catches the ball, he then flips it at the exact time he drops his glove and takes the ball, throwing it back to the pitcher or to a base if someone is trying to steal.

Luke’s inspirational story has gone viral over the past month, including interviews and features on ESPN and Bleacher Report. Even more exciting is the attention from Major League Baseball teams. Terry has caught the eye of the Baltimore Orioles.

On Wednesday night, Terry was invited as a special guest of the Orioles to attend a game at Camden Yards and be a part of the first pitch ceremony. Instead of throwing the first pitch though, he caught it, from Orioles Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.

Earlier this month, Luke also threw out the first pitch in Atlanta, to his favorite baseball team, the Braves.