MEMPHIS, Tenn. — High school baseball is back in the Mid-South, and that’s especially good news for one Whitehaven first baseman.
As far back as he can remember, Ty’Carien Young always had a passion for baseball.
“The love for the game just came from being out there with other people that love baseball like me. That’s just been there since I started playing, day one on the field,” Ty’Carien said.
“He loves the college game, he loves the pro game, he’s always talking about it with his peers. It’s really a joy to see it,” said Whitehaven baseball head coach Galvin Sims, Sr.
But he plays the game a bit different than everyone else.
Ty’Carien was born with Erb’s palsy, meaning his right arm is shorter and less developed than his dominant left arm, but that doesn’t stop him from playing the game he loves.
“I don’t think it’s a limitation! If you think you can do it, you might as well try,” Ty’Carien said.
Ty’Carien figured out a special fielding technique, catching and throwing the ball with his left side. He makes the play, slides his glove off into his right arm, and then grabs the ball with his left hand, all in one slick, efficient motion.
“I practiced at home, practice, at a cookout, family reunion, all that,” Ty’Carien said. “I just believed in myself that I could do it, like everybody else.”
He even developed a swing too, turning himself into a quality ball player.
Upon entering high school, Ty’Carien had his sights set on being the best, choosing to pursue a career at athletic powerhouse Whitehaven High. While he didn’t make varsity during his initial tryouts, his passion and drive were undeniable.
“I saw something that led me in my heart to just keep him,” Sims said. “I had to keep him in the program.”
“I wanna compete for my position every day. But I also love baseball,” Ty’Carien said. “So, if I just have to come out here and pick up balls every day, I’d love to do that, because I’m being around the sport.”
Now a junior first baseman, Ty’Carien has developed into a real contributor for the Tigers. Coaches say he’s one of the hardest workers on the roster.
But perhaps the greatest compliment they can give him is, he’s simply become one of the guys.
“If we warm up, he’s warming up. If we’re throwing, he’s throwing. If we’re hitting, he’s hitting. If we’re cleaning up, he’s cleaning up. There’s no difference in his approach than anybody else’s on the team. He’s one of us,” Sims said.
“It’s amazing because you can go to a school where they might make fun of you. But my team, they love me, and I love them,” Ty’Carien said. “And my coaches treat me like everyone else, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Teammates and coaches might view Ty’Carien as just another member of the team, but there’s no denying the special impact his hard work and dedication has on everyone around him.
“It brings joy to me. Sometimes it gives me chills. Just to see a kid work so hard,” Sims said. “It really makes me feel good.”
“I want to make a good impression on my younger teammates and just be a good role model for everybody out here,” Ty’Carien said. “It doesn’t matter if you have one arm or two arms, you still can do anything you want to do out here.”
Ty’Carien says he wants to stick with baseball as he goes to college and beyond, even if it means being a team manager or working for a team.