SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 1, 2013

Around the Horn: Navs welcome Salem's Halle to the dugout

LYNN — Salem High junior Anthony Halle has been through a lot in the last two years, and some of his memories at the ball park have faded.

This summer, he’s getting the chance to make a million new ones.

The North Shore Navigators of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League have signed Halle, 16, to be part of the team this summer through Team Impact, a non-profit group that pairs kids facing illness with sports teams.

Halle had the majority of a softball-sized tumor removed from his brain in June of 2011. He had some complications after surgery and still has some weakness and paralysis in his left hand that prevents him from playing baseball.

Sitting with Navs manager Jon Cahill and general manager Bill Terlecky at Frasier Field on Sunday night, looking at his Navs cap, jersey and a nameplate that will hang over his locker in the clubhouse, Halle felt thrilled to have the chance to get back in a dugout.

“I’m really excited,” said Halle. “When everything was happening, I kind of pulled away from baseball. Some of my memories are pretty hazy. It’s pretty exciting to be able to get back involved.”

Halle played second base and spent part of his life in Florida and Nevada before moving back to his native Salem when he was in ninth grade. After his surgery to treat Astrocytoma, a cancer of the brain, he spent weeks in physical and occupational therapy learning to walk again.

In doing so, the youngster is already making an impression on his future Navigator teammates.

“I don’t know what I’d do if someone told me I wouldn’t be able to play ball again,” said Justin Peluso, a Navs infield who gradauted from St. John’s Prep and plays for Wheaton. “Anthony’s fight and determination through his rehab really inspsired me.”

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