A California Little Leaguer is being compared to a major league legend.
Will Baker, 9, is dominating in his favorite sport, despite being unable to use his right arm.
Big League Dreams start under the summer sun of a Little League field, where coaches start to see a glimmer of true talent.
"He excels at every position," coach Mario Pappazi said. "He does not let any position take him down. He just does it all."
Baker is one of the smallest kids in the league, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for with speed. He can do with one hand what his teammates do with two.
"Now I’m just used to using one arm," he said. "I can’t imagine learning how to do with both arms."
A year and a half ago, Baker contracted a rare virus that attacked his nervous system.
"Like Polio," Will’s father, Christopher, said. "It’s not Polio, but it’s like Polio and it left his right arm paralyzed."
Surgeons helped Will regain the use of his hand. A sling gives him stability, lifting his arm just enough to switch his glove from one end to the other.
Will’s biggest fans believe the southpaw’s baseball career will last as long as he chooses.
"In his mind, he’s going to play for the Padres — first base," Christopher said.
"You never know until you actually try," Will said. "So if you don’t want to go hit, like sometimes I don’t want to go hit, and then you get scared… My coach says you already struck out if you’re scared before you hit."
Will’s goal to play professional baseball isn’t just a pipe dream.
Pitcher Jim Abbot was born without a right hand.
He played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball.
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