Austin Ordner suffers from cerebral palsy, which has affected his right side. He has limited use of his right arm, and his right leg and foot turn to face his left. Living with his mother and grandfather in Tarpon Springs, Austin loves baseball. During his freshman year at Tarpon Spring High School, Austin befriended some players from the Spongers, the school’s baseball team. After working on his grades, Austin became a team manager in his sophomore year.
He played ball at the Winning Inning program throughout the summer, and before the start of the regular season, Spongers coach Dickie Hart invited him to join the team.“I had to make a decision during the summer whether I wanted to keep playing,” Austin said. “I was just terrible. I was really struggling. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But I decided to keep playing. I worked too hard to just give up. In January I started to hit. I was hitting everything. I’m glad I stayed with it.
”The baseball team appreciates and respects Austin for his commitment and determination. “He’s just one of the guys,” said Tommy Grill,the team’s senior catcher. “Nobody makes fun of him. If anyone around here does, the baseball team has his back. We’re his family.”