Baseball team discovers player’s condition

Freshman Chance Evans is completely blind from his right eye. That did not stop him from joining the inaugural Saints baseball team. Photo by Astrid Villegas
Freshman Chance Evans is completely blind from his right eye. That did not stop him from joining the inaugural Saints baseball team. Photo by Astrid Villegas

By Astrid Villegas

Good vision is important in any sport, including baseball. But freshman Chance Evans from Tarkington, Texas was born with a congenital cataract that blinded him completely in his right eye, and the condition has not stopped him from playing on the Saints baseball team.

“I would not even know what two eyes would be like,” Evans said. “I’m so used to one.”

When Evans was an infant his family noticed the sun gave his right eye a bad glare and that his pupil would not dilate, allowing a lot of sun in his eye.

His parents took him to the doctor, where they were told he had a congenital cataract. A congenital cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that is present at birth, unlike the normal cataract that develops with age. The lens of the eye is normally clear.

This hereditary disease skipped a whole deal of generations because, according to Evans; no one in his family has this cataract.

“When my dad first taught me how to play baseball, he did not know about my cataract so he went ahead and taught me how to bat left handed, which was a little more of a challenge,” Evans said.

His dad’s love for baseball was passed on to Evans from an early age.

“I kind of always knew I wanted to play college level baseball,” Evens said.

Coach Freddy Rodriguez called Evans this summer to invite him the team tryouts last June.

Evans made it on the baseball team, and not even coach Rodriguez knew about his cataract. It was not until a drill in which coach Rodriguez asked every teammate to close one eye, that Evans shared this information with the team.

“You’re joking right? You’re kidding,” was the reaction Evans received from Rodriguez.

“Close your left eye, close your left eye,” was the reaction Evans received from his teammates. “There is no point I can’t see,” Evans responded.

This disease does not affect Evans’ life in any negative way, he said. Evans’ aspirations with the baseball team are to win a conference championship.

 

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