By Brandon Speck/Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – It would have been wrong for Easton Hall to be an elite soccer player.
A guy named after a baseball bat was destined to be good at baseball.
Hall, the 2012 Daily Journal Player of the Year, hit .523 this season with 45 RBI and 21 doubles, all team-highs for the New Albany Bulldogs.
Kossuth pitcher Tyler Nelms was also a finalist for the honor.
The son of a football and baseball coach – his dad Buddy coached both at New Albany – he did all that with a torn labrum in his right throwing shoulder. Hall hits left. A Northeast Mississippi CC signee, he had surgery June 8.
His doctor said the tear came from contact, contact Hall says came from a slide into first base in a wooden bat league two years ago.
He pitched through it during his junior season and during football drills this season, caught a pass and felt it move again.
“From then on, it’s been sore every single day,” he said.
Hall (6-foot-2, 193) threw his first bullpen session following football season and said after about six pitches and an off-speed pitch, he felt it pop.
He would have entered the season as the Bulldogs’ top thrower but with that part of his game unavailable, wanted to make up for it and put surgery off.
“I wasn’t going to miss my senior year, no way,” he said. “I knew I was going to be limited to what I could do.”
His average remained steady throughout last season.
“A lot of times those start to creep back down. His went up,” New Albany coach John Walker said. “He had an unbelievable year because he’s such a good hitter and a hard worker.”
He pitched only 22/3 innings but played all over the field, first for most of the season until he was comfortable doing more with the injured shoulder.
It wasn’t the only injury to hamper his prep career. Two years ago, he broke his wrist and played the last two games of his sophomore season.
” I love to play. I’ve done it my whole life,” Hall said.