Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Last February, Pete Bock lay motionless on the ground outside his home in North Carolina.
His yard morphed into a thick patch of ice thanks to a wicked storm that put the region
in a deep freeze.

Bock slipped, and as anyone who has had their feet pulled out from under them knows,
that moment of being helpless in the air, turns into a conglomeration of danger, fear,
anxiety,  and the uncertainly that comes when gravity pulls you back to something that
doesn't give an inch, no matter the opponent's size, shape, and in Bock's case, impeccable

Bock hit his head on the ice-covered ground. His wife, Cindy, rushed to his side, only to
slip and fall, breaking her hip.  If this was a test by someone of a higher-power, it was a
hard and cruel one for two wonderful people who are deeply religious.

Cindy shattered her hip in the fall,  suffered a traumatic head injury, leaving him paralyzed
below the waist . His injury left him so debilitated, it wasn't certain that he'd live, much
less walk again.

But through his faith, family, and small miracle, Bock battled through his injury and survived.
He went through surgery, setbacks, and a tough rehabilitation program to get a good part
of his health back. But the man considered to be the "Mr. Baseball" in North Carolina, was
still bound to a wheelchair, the feeling in his lower extremities yet to return.

However, in late May, Bock returned to the game he so dearly loves. He showed up for
the opening game of the Holly Springs Salamanders, the team he owns in the Coastal
Plain League, which just happens to be the one he founded and brought to life.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but I think God that I’m here today and able to see this," 
 Bock told a North Carolina television station. "It was one of my goals from the time I
woke up in the hospital.”

A bad thing happened to a truly good person, but that good person, through his faith
and an iron-strong family, helped Bock overcome a horrific thing. He may still have
a long way to go, but he is certainly headed in the right direction. Anybody who knows
Pete Bock, knows he is a beautiful person and a man of great character. If you don't
like Pete Bock, then you probably just don't like good people.

The rest of the journey will be a challenging one with changes to Bock's normal everyday
routine. A ramp for his wheelchair was built to make things more a little more convenient
for him.  There is more rehabilitation ahead and with it, comes expenses that will be sure
to accumulate at a mind-boggling rate. His daughter, Clara Grace, and son, Jeff, set up a
GoFundMe account to help out with expenses. www.gofundme.com/tmnsas

Clara Grace noted in her in on-line journal, "We still know and believe that God has a
big plan for all of this even if right now it is so unclear. We are weary, but our God
never grows weary, never sleeps, never lets go of his children. Our prayer is for
endurance and wisdom."

I met Pete Bock on the set of "Bull Durham" where he was the baseball coordinator.
We became friends for life that day and I consider him one of the best ones I have.
It's great to see him back in the game and doing the thing he that he loves dearly.

Yes, he has a long way to go, but he bulldozed his way through a big test and has a
big smile on his face to prove it.

And that's a beautiful thing.


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