Parker’s lifelong dream was to play college baseball.
After being recruited by numerous schools, Parker chose to play at Texas A&M. In the summer of 2006, Parker realized that he had to have surgery on his shoulder. It had been a difficult decision on whether or not to even go back to A&M. His past season had not been his best and the coach had told him that he would probably sit on the bench his senior year. After much deliberation, Parker decided that he would go back to A&M and have shoulder surgery. In regards to sitting on the bench, he said, “If someone was going to play above him, Parker would help that player be the best he could be.” Parker truly is the definition of a team player.
Parker had shoulder surgery and was excited to go back to school and start fall baseball. My mom made him go to a routine dermatologist appointment in which the doctor removed a mole from his back. Later that week, the doctor called my mom to tell her that Parker had melanoma. Parker had surgery at MD Anderson in which they removed more of the area on his back and his lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread. His doctor and the whole team at MD Anderson were incredible. If the cancer had spread, Parker would have had to go through treatment and baseball would not be an option. Thankfully, the doctors removed all the cancer and Parker did not have to go through radiation or chemotherapy. Parker still had to sit out of fall ball due to the surgery. The doctors would not even let him throw a baseball.
Finally, in the spring, Parker, would play ball again. He had been through many trials so far that year. He had shoulder surgery and then he had melanoma and couldn’t play the whole fall. Parker was content with the fact that he had not picked up a baseball in months and would spend his senior year on the bench. He did not start the first couple of games of the season but soon began to start again. Parker’s batting average at one point was one to the top 3 in the Big 12. Newspapers and radio stations started calling Parker’s season a miracle and The Comeback Story of the Year. A&M won the big 12 tournament and went to the Super Regionals.
Through all of this, Parker let God have all the glory and was able to share his faith with a wide audience due to what he had been through. Parker had the best season of his career that year and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2007. Parker’s lifelong dream had been to play college baseball and 2007 was one for the record books. God blessed him with the ability, not to have baseball stop when he graduated, but to play longer in the pros. He has spent the past three years playing the game he loves most. He is currently playing in Midland, Michigan.
Elizabeth Dalton, (Sister)