In July, Amory native Mitch Moreland was riding buses in the minors. He was the starting first baseman for the Texas Rangers in the World Series, hitting a home run in Game 3.
But Moreland isn’t letting success go to his head. All he needs to keep his ego in check is a glance at the red rubber bracelet on his left wrist, etched with, “Do it for Duffy,” and a Mississippi State logo.
Ryan Duffy was Moreland’s teammate at MSU, a catcher Moreland remembers as “one of those guys who every time you saw him he put a smile on your face.” Moreland also remembers Duffy doing a back flip before every game the year the Bulldogs went to the College World Series.
Now Duffy is paralyzed from the neck down, a venilator helping him breathe. He broke his neck in a diving accident in Key West, Fla., on Aug. 14.
“It makes you step back and say, ‘You can lose it like that,’ ” Moreland said, snapping his fingers for emphasis. “I mean, you’ve got to take advantage of what you have. It’s crazy, me being here in the World Series and he’s lost everything. You’ve got to step back and say thank you for what I’ve got.”
Moreland said he’s planning to visit Duffy in Atlanta this offseason.
“You’ve got to hope every day the best will come out,” Moreland said.
The Associated Press