MADISON, Ala. - Ball game! Well, maybe not, at least for the Madison father and son team we introduced to you two years ago. We caught up with them again for an update on their game of catch.
You'd probably strike out if you tried to find anyone who loves baseball more than Brett Potter. “It’s fun to play,” he said with a smile. Brett loves the game, especially when he can play catch with his dad Eric.
Brett was born with Achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. Being a little person has its challenges, but he doesn't let it keep him from doing what he loves. “No, not one bit,” he said. There no obstacle too big to get over. “No challenge is too big for me,” he said confidently, “Cause I can do anything.”
Alex Rodriguez once said, “Always follow your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be something." And you can take this to the ballpark. Brett Potter has done something most us can only dream about doing.
In 2014, Brett and his dad had their gloves and baseball when they went to a major league game. “The first one we threw the ball at was in Anaheim,” Eric said. “We're trying to do every stadium with it,” Brett added.
When I first sat down with them in 2017, they'd already made it to 18 with 12 to go. Each stadium has a memory, like the trip to San Francisco. With a smile on his face, Brett looked at me and glanced at his dad when he said, “The ball went over my head because he didn't make a good throw.”
It went under the stadium fence after the game. “I had to ask the police officer for it,” Brett said, “And he had to open up the whole stadium again and they gave it back to me.” He wasn’t coming back to Alabama without the ball.
Five years after their baseball journey began, they’re batting a thousand! “It was a big milestone we completed,” Brett said. The father and son team threw the ball around at Dodger Stadium on July 4th.
But in the words of baseball legend Yogi Berra, “It ain't over till it's over.” Brett smiled and said, “I guess we'll go to new ballparks and maybe some minor league ballparks with it.” They’re not retiring the ball just yet. It still has a lot of ballparks in the future. “Yeah it does,” Brett said.
That includes new stadiums. “The Texas Rangers are getting one next year and Oakland and Tampa Bay are talking about getting new stadiums so if the stadiums come open, we’ll take the ball back and go play catch with it where we can,” Eric said.
Along the way, Brett has become friends with players in both the minor and major leagues, including a Huntsville high grad. “I got to see Brewer Hicklen and talk to him,” Brett said. Brewer plays for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He got Brett down on the field so he could take batting practice with the team before they played.
But one of the coolest places they’ve taken the ball was Dubuque County, Iowa. “That was really cool,” Brett said, “It looked way different though than the movie.” Yeah, they got to play catch on the diamond used for “Field of Dreams” that was filmed 30 years ago. They even recreated the scene where Kevin Costner’s character plays catch with his dad.
Of course, they walk off into the cornfield and disappear at the end of their video. But this father-son team isn’t going away. Their game of catch is heading into extra innings. Brett’s story has inspired others to start their own journey of playing catch at ballparks across the country. If you’d like to keep up with Brett’s baseball journey, he’s on Instagram at royalsfanLP23.