Tyler Sampson, a baseball player and a rising senior at Denton Guyer High School, is walking around with a big smile on his face these days.
That's because he accepted a scholarship to pitch for Paris Junior College — one of seven offers he received from college baseball teams.
We should point out that Sampson is a left-handed pitcher. Anyone who knows baseball knows that lefties are a commodity and the path to success is definitely easier if you're a left-handed pitcher.
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However, Sampson is a lefty because he has to be. You see, he doesn't have a right hand.
Only two percent of high school athletes receive scholarship offers, so that in and of itself is enough. When you think about the fact that over three million kids each year play youth baseball, the achievement becomes even more impressive.
Sampson's parents will tell you that from day one having only one hand never stopped him; he will tell you it wasn't always easy.
"Of course there are always frustrations, but it is just how you respond to them," said Sampson. "If you don't bounce back from a frustration then it just, it affects what you were going to do and you lose confidence in what you do."
Tyler does have a special glove. A tailor sewed an elastic strap inside to make it easier for him to make the transfer from throwing to catching.
"Most of the time when you look at obstacles a lot of people tend to leave them alone," he said. "And you cannot really leave alone your obstacles. You have to go and embrace them and use them as learning experiences when you go on and go forth in whatever you were trying to accomplish."
Tyler's parents believe it was their approach with him from day one that made the difference. They said when he was born they made the decision to treat him just like any other kid. They said it was the hardest thing to do, to allow him to fail, but they believe it taught him how to persevere.
That perseverance paid off. He still has a senior year to finish but after that someone else will be paying for his education while he continues to do the thing he loves most: pitch.