Teen Pitcher with Defected Hand Throws Unhittable Curveball
Baseball is never short on inspirational stories where players, amateur or professional, are overcoming great adversity. The same can be said of a young high-school pitcher who, from birth, began to show early signs of a genetic defect in his hands.
Virginia-native Dylan Rosnik, 18, was born with Proteus syndrome, a rare condition that genetically stimulates an excessive amount of growth in the skin and bones. With oversized hands, Rosnik has a unique advantage over the players who come up to bat.
Working closely with a personal trainer, Rosnik used the seemingly detrimental downside of having abnormally-large hands and developed a special system for himself every time he stands on the pitcher's mound.
Three of his fingers on both hands are considerably longer than normal; six inches long and one inch wide to be precise. His grip, combined with the natural release of the ball, allows for a slow, 65 miles-per-hour pitch.
That may sound like the total opposite of what pitchers are supposed to do, since players at the high-school level throw at an average speed ranging between 75 to 85 miles an hour. Rosnik, however, uses his condition to add a curvy spin movement to his pitching technique, which produces a uniquely unhittable curveball.
The unassuming expectations others have of Rosnik's physical abilities have been an advantage to his game and motivation. His mom, Holly Rosnik, said "there was nothing that was going to limit what he could do."
Rosnik is starting college this fall at Christopher Newport University where he will serve as a walk-on to the school's baseball team. His story is a true example of what it means to defy incredible odds.