Boy’s bravery inspires UIndy baseball team

Sunday’s Indianapolis Star carried an inspiring story about 6-year-old Owen Mahan of Pittsboro and his special relationship with the UIndy baseball team.

Young Owen Mahan poses with UIndy teammate Evan Eyer in February after signing with the Greyhounds.

Young Owen Mahan poses with UIndy senior Evan Eyer after signing with the Greyhounds. (UIndy Athletics photo)

Owen suffered severe burns at age 2, and life is a daily struggle for him and the adoptive parents who work valiantly to give him a normal childhood. Earlier this year, the young baseball fan was introduced to Coach Gary Vaught‘s Greyhounds, who had him sign a letter of intent to join the team and presented him with his own UIndy jersey, No. 1, which he wears in the dugout during games.

The boy’s presence has become a huge inspiration to the team over the course of the season, and brought a new perspective on life to players such as sophomore second baseman Anthony Asalon, a Criminal Justice major from Cincinnati.

“It’s hard to be down on yourself when you see the way a kid that doesn’t have what you have lives,” Asalon told The Star. “Everyone wants to be a champion. But when it comes down to it, every day that I can get out there and play is a success. … It makes me feel like I’m not just playing for a national championship. I’m playing for a little boy to have a good day, to have a good time … to smile.”

Owen’s family connected with the Hounds through Team IMPACT, whose slogan is “Matching courageous kids with college athletic teams.” This was the first Midwest placement for the Massachusetts-based organization.

Read the Star story and see more photos here.

Read about and watch a video of Owen’s signing with the Greyhounds here.

Read the team’s blog about Owen here.

The third-seeded Greyhounds (29-21, 23-12 GLVC) face Lewis at noon Thursday in Evansville in the opening round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. Learn more at the Athletics Website.