BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Sports can teach us many things. For Tyler Abbott, baseball has taught him a valuable life lesson.
“To never give up in life and never give up in something you want to do,” the Verbena High School senior said.
In eighth grade, the football and baseball player, was involved in a tractor accident with his grandfather.
“We were cutting down brush when a tree hit us. It knocked my grandfather off the tractor and smashed my right arm,” Tyler said.
Tyler said he doesn’t remember much after that moment.
“I just remember getting up and walking through the woods and finding my dad. He put a tourniquet on my arm," Tyler said.
Six hours later, Tyler’s life forever changed and so did the way he would play the sport he loved.
“I woke up and my dominant right arm was amputated, and they told me they couldn’t save it. I guess it’s heartbreaking because you have to figure out how to go through life with one arm,” Tyler said.
It took Tyler a year to relearn how to use his non-dominant arm. Once he mastered simple day-to-day tasks like brushing his teeth and writing his name on a piece of paper, he knew then it was time to get back out on the field.
“For a little while I was a little worried, but then I figured out I could do just as good with one arm than I could for two and so that drove me and motivated me to keep trying and keep playing,” Tyler said.
From batting to catching the ball with one arm, Tyler, who’s an outfielder, become one of the best players on the team. His dedication and determination throughout his journey inspiring all those around him.
“He’s been a bright spot since day one, and after he leaves this year I’m really going to miss him. He’s really one of the best kids I’ve ever coached with one of the best attitudes, he’s out of this league,” said Verbena baseball coach Jeremy White.
“Without his attitude and what he has done and everything, I don’t think I would have survived as well as I have,” added Tyler’s grandfather Hershell Mims.
Tyler Abbott encourages everyone who sees him to swing for the fences no matter how hard that might be.
“I would like to teach others to never give up, never quit....anything is possible if you just put your mind to it,” said Tyler.
Tyler won the Class 1A Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Achievement Award a couple of weeks ago for his will to overcome adversity.
Verbena will play Maplesville in the first-round of the AHSAA Class 1A playoffs this Friday.