When he was young, Dylan Rosnick just wanted to play baseball, a simple enough request for a child growing up in the Loudoun County exurbs.
He wanted to tie his shoes, too, and hold a pencil the right way, and button his shirt, and brush his teeth. There 's not a lot of guidance, though, for a child with Proteus syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects fewer than one in 1 million births worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It causes overgrowth in bones, skin and other tissues. Those organs grow out of proportion with other tissues in the body.
For Rosnick, the most obvious features impacted by the condition are his fingers. Three on each hand are overgrown, maybe six inches long and the width of an extra-wide thumb.
And Rosnick, large fingers and all, wanted to play baseball. So his father went to work dismantling and rebuilding baseball gloves, until one thing became clear. Just like Rosnick, now a senior at Champe High in Aldie, Virginia, had taught himself to tie his shoes and button his shirt, he was going to teach himself to be a true ballplayer - a pitcher at that. …show more content…
Great pitchers are often defined by one dominant pitch developed over years of trial and error until the thing is unhittable. Take Mariano Rivera 's cutter, Randy Johnson 's fastball, Roger Clemens 's splitter.
Rosnick has that, just not by choice. His fastball tops out at 65 miles per hour, well below what high school hitters are used to seeing, because his fingers spend more time wrapped around the ball, reducing his velocity. But when Rosnick uses those larger fingers to apply a little pressure to either side of the baseball, it causes it to dance across the plate.
"When we saw that, it jumped out at us," Champe Coach Joe McDonald said. "And not in a bad way. We thought, what could we do with
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