WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Gallaudet University baseball team received some great publicity this month as they are featured in the November 15 issue of ESPN the Magazine. This month's publication is ESPN's "LOUD" issue, and the sports publishing powerhouse focuses on deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes throughout the country in an article titled "Noise Makers."
Gallaudet baseball coach Curtis Pride along with his assistant coaches Greg Fleet and Andre Rabouin and six other players are featured in the article as the group was photographed by ESPN the Magazine back in October at Hoy Field on the campus of Gallaudet.
The story is introduced with the following: "What if you live in a world with little or no sound? Nearly three out of every 1,000 American children are born deaf. And that got us thinking: What's it like for athletes who are deaf to compete at an elite level?" ESPN's Carmen Renee Thompson, the author of the story, profiles five different deaf or hard of hearing athletes in the article including Pride.
The other athletes profiled are Purdue senior hurdler Josh Hembrough, UCLA running back Derrick Coleman, Kansas women's soccer midfielder Emily Cressy and U.S. national swimmer Marcus Titus.
Pride enters his third season at the helm of the Bison baseball program this year. He played for six Major League Baseball teams during his career including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos and Atlanta Braves. Pride, who has been profoundly deaf from birth, batted .250 and hit 20 home runs and knocked in 82 RBIs in 421 major-league games. In the article, Pride mentions some of the challenges he had faced as a player trying to make it to the big leagues. Pride emphasizes the importance for his players to not let their hearing status stop them from achieving great things on the field and in the classroom.
"I have high expectations for my players, so I push them hard. We can change perceptions with the way we perform," said Pride in the article.
The six players in the photo include sophomore William Bissell (Brewer, Maine), junior Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.), junior Erik Ellis (Elgin, Ill.), freshman Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.), freshman Chris Guinn (Shawnee, Okla.), and freshman Edward Watson (Hermitage, Tenn.) along with Pride, Fleet and Rabouin.
In the article Pride, who is an inspiration to his players and the deaf community, discusses his Major League debut in Montreal back in 1993. Pride got the first hit of his 11-season career while pinch hitting for the Expos in a tight playoff race. The feeling of 45,000 fans roaring in Olympic Stadium in Montreal after his hit has never escaped Pride after 17 years.
"It was one of the most awesome feelings I've ever experienced. It was almost like they were trying to make me hear them. That's the kind of feeling I want for my players," said Pride in the article.
Make sure to grab a copy of the November 15 "LOUD" issue of ESPN the Magazine which is on newsstands now and turn to page 100.