Overcoming the odds

Carson Robinson on the mound this past summer for the EvoShield Canes Midwest. Photo Courtesy Carson Robinson

Talented Pitcher Starting for Chelsea in 2018 Season

By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

Carson Robinson has always loved sports, all the way back to when he was a little kid and would play all kinds of sports with his dad and brother for something to do.

As he continued on into high school, Carson said sports helped him get his mind off of things while being able to get out with friends at the same time.

Playing sports as a kid growing up is a similar experience that many kids can relate to, but the difference with Robinson is that he was born without a left hand.

Carson played multiple sports growing up, golf and baseball were favorites, and he also played basketball and football at a young age. His mother, Jeanette, was able to reach out to former major league pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand about tips for her son.

“I had just heard a lot about him when Carson was really young and I reached out to him in email and said ‘Hey I have a son who loves baseball. He’s dedicated out in the yard all day mastering what he knows how to do, any tips for us?’,” said Jeanette. “He sent us back an email giving us a few pointers that he would do, how to practice certain things like throwing the ball into the garage door and practice catching and transferring your glove so that you could get faster at that,”

Carson Robinson at the plate last summer for the EvoShield Canes Midwest. Photo Courtesy Carson Robinson

Another difference is the amount of work that Carson put in to get himself where he is today. He credits some of his talent to the repetitions.

“It kind of comes as second nature especially because I never had a left hand,” said Carson. “You really have to adapt to it and I think that was the biggest thing, just getting used to everything.”

His father, Chris, knew his son had the potential to be something special when he saw his son hit the ball at a young age.

“He always had a really strong arm and could always strike people out,” said Chris. “But I really knew when he would hit. I mean a kid with one hand, and he was hitting bombs. And people pitching around him and walking him. I knew that was his sport because I had never seen a kid with a better eye for the ball. I don’t know how he does it, but he hits the crap outta the ball.”

For Jeanette, the moment that still stands out to her was when Carson was playing in a young co-ed league in Stockbridge.

“I’ll never forget one of the moms came up to me and said ‘I’ve been having such a hard time with the boys when I’m trying to practice with them at home and do tee work. I finally figured out, I said what are you doing, why are you hitting like that?’ And they were trying to hold their bat like Carson does so they could hit the ball like him. I’ll never forget that. that was as young as five or six.”

Continuing on into high school at Stockbridge Carson was on the varsity baseball team where his dad coached. Despite being a freshman on varsity, Carson was up to the task.

He has been playing high-level travel baseball since he was 11 years old traveling across the country to face teams from all over the United States, with great success. This past summer he began playing with the EvoShield Canes Midwest, a travel baseball team based out of Indiana.

Carson said it was the most baseball he has ever played, but also some of the most fun times he has had as well. They played Wednesday through Sunday every week with some full weeks sprinkled in.

“It was the most fun I had being around a group of guys that have the same goal as I do,” said Carson. “Around coaches that have been where I want to go, I think that helps a lot. The talent you play against, I mean, seeing 90 M.P.H fastballs at the age of 15, I think it’s really a big advantage for what I want to do to after high school, so I think that’s definitely the most fun.”

“I think one of the most exciting parts of the whole thing was when you jump onto travel ball and see a different caliber level of talent,” said Jeanette. “A different level of athletes from all over, the idea that Carson still throughout that, made four all-tournament teams at big summer tournaments.”

Carson also found out recently he was named to the Perfect Pre-Season High School Underclass All-American Honorable Mention list on PerfectGame.org, a site that ranks high school underclassmen baseball players.

That may be why neither his parents nor he were surprised when he posted an 8-2 record as a freshman with a sub-2.0 E.R.A.

This year, Carson will be taking the mound and the field for the Chelsea Bulldogs. Carson and his family decided to make the switch in the middle of this past summer.

With the high level of competition in baseball and colleges looking at student-athletes for their academics as well as athleticism, the Robinson’s decided Chelsea schools gave Carson the best chance to be able to compete at the next level.

Chris had also heard great things about Chelsea Baseball Head Coach Adam Taylor and the family was impressed with the coaching résumé of the coaches at Chelsea High School.

“It starts with the Athletic Director. I think Brad (Bush) is a heck of an athletic director,” said Chris. “He hires the best. I tip my hat off to him for doing all of that.”

Carson will be a starting pitcher this year and expects to compete for playing time at first base, his favorite position because of the unpredictability of what can come at you, be it a bunt or line drive, as well as a chance to touch the ball every play.

The diversity will give him a better chance to play at the collegiate level, which Carson said is a goal of his.

“Just like my coach told me, for high school ball the more positions you play the better off you have to play more,” said Carson. “So really as many positions as you can play, that’s more playing time you get and the more exposure you get.”

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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