Hawaii MVP: Shea Sakahara
There's much more to baseball that meets the eye. Shea Sakahara was born with Cerebral Palsy, but from the get-go, it was clear, he wasn't about to be written off.
HONOLULU - There's much more to baseball that meets the eye.
"I like that it can give anyone the opportunity to do whatever they want. And how there's always something going on and you always have to think ahead,” Shea Sakahara, this month’s Hawaii MVP said.
The same can be said about 12-year old, Shea Sakahara.
"I like being able to show others that everyone is different and that anyone can do anything,” he said.
Shea was born with Cerebral Palsy, but from the get-go, it was clear, he wasn't about to be written off.
"He started life wearing leg braces in both legs. He tripped a lot and fell a lot. He had to get his strength and coordination up but he worked really hard. As he grew older and noticed, 'wait a minute. The other kids don't wear leg braces on their legs like I do,' that encouraged him to get stronger.” Tim Sakahara, Shea's father said. "He actually convinced the doctors that he didn't need leg braces anymore. When he was set, he didn’t like to wear them anymore and didn’t want to be different."
Shea was determined to play baseball like his friends.
However, the right side of his body didn't have the same strength as his left.
"I noticed I could throw the ball well but I couldn't catch the ball well,” Shea said.
So, he scoured the web looking for inspiration.
"And then a Jim Abbott video popped up. I saw that he threw and caught with his left arm. And that was the same position that I was in. and so I decided to try that,” Shea said.
"I was amazed. When I first saw we had them line up on the corners out here and we had him throw the ball around. The way he transfers the ball and all that is real quick. He's quicker than some of our other kids out there,” Reid Nomura, Shea’s baseball coach said.
Shea doesn’t just shine on the diamond. The 12-year old speaks at events and fundraisers for Cerebral Palsy.
This Summer, Shea organized a drive for school supplies for children who couldn't afford them. And in one week…
"Since I was only doing my grade, I was hoping for 300 donations by the end. But I ended up getting 777 donations. So I definitely blew past my goal,” Shea said.
"He never ceases to amaze me. When I see him and confront new people, new situations, that drive is incredible. I don't know if you can teach that. He had certain cards dealt to him and he plays the deck,” Karisse Sakahara, Shea’s mother said.
Setting Goals - Shea swings for the fences. First up: he wants to make the Punahou baseball team this fall, and then...
"When I grow up, I want to become a GM for the San Francisco Giants because they're my favorite baseball team,” he said.