In the fall of 2010, six-year minor-league veteran Stevie Delabar was recovering from a harrowing elbow injury and contemplating his future in the sport to which he'd devoted his life. He made the difficult decision to give up his dream of playing baseball for a living and decided to get a job as a substitute teacher and assistant baseball coach at a local high school.
Still, he kept up on the latest training methods, and began a new strengthening program that was just introduced at a local baseball facility. He noticed his strength returning to-then surpassing-where it used to be. "I initially tested at 89," Delabar says, referring to the MPH on his fastball. "The second test was a consistent 93. I'd never been a consistent 93 ever... Then my arm starts to get a little stronger, starts to get a little quicker. And now I retest again four weeks later and numbers skyrocket, 95, 96.
Delabar showed off his newfound stuff to a scout from a major league team, the Seattle Mariners. Liking what they saw, the Mariners sent him on a journey through their farm system that culminated with a shutout inning and a win against the New York Yankees.
Watch the full report on Stevie Delabar and the strengthening program that gave him his second chance, when 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel' returns Tuesday, March 20th at 10 PM.
(Additional airings include: March 21 (2:30 a.m.), March 24 (10:30 a.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. PT), March 27 (5:15 p.m., 12:10 a.m.), March 29 (12:20 p.m., 8:30 p.m.), April 1 (9:00 a.m.), and April 4 (10:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.)