A torn labrum is a difficult injury to overcome for any baseball pitcher whether professional, collegiate or in high school.
Billy Benedetto, who pitched Harrison to a sectional title in 1992, suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder when he was 27 years old and playing in a Brooklyn adult mens league. He would have surgery and experience grueling rehab sessions, but when he returned to playing, Benedetto, a 1992 Harrison graduate, learned pitching was not in his future.
Despite this, Benedetto continued playing the sport he loved. Last year, Benedetto felt no pain in his shoulder and decided to try pitching.
I was playing pick-up softball with some of the guys from work and my arm felt good, said the 37-year-old Benedetto, a Putnam Valley resident. A couple of days later, I did it again and felt no pain so I started throwing a baseball.
Benedetto wound up pitching a few innings with the Rockland Rebels of the Westchester-Rockland Wood Bat League.
This motivated him to begin training for the current season. The determination and dedication has reaped rewards. Benedetto is 2-0 with 16 strikeouts and a 0.00 earned run average through 13 innings for the New York Hawks of the Westchester-Putnam Mens Senior Baseball League.
I cant put into words what it felt like to pitch again, said Benedetto. I was floating on the mound. I almost cried on the mound.
During the winter I started throwing and I was pain free. I was throwing hard, 83-84 miles per hour, and I was hitting my spots.
His next start will be June 5, when the Hawks host a doubleheader.at Louisa Park in Peekskill.
I feel like I have discovered the fountain of youth, Benedetto said.
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