Delaware Baseball: Joe Giacchino Stars After Being Diagnosed with Brain Tumor
Excerpted from the Bleacher Report ( Posted: 04/26/2012)
On February 18, 2012 the unthinkable happened in Houston, Texas as the University of Delaware baseball team began its season facing off against the University of Houston at Cougar Field. But to one person this wasn’t just a baseball game, it was a milestone.
Flash back to October 2008 and imagine a 16-year-old teenage boy getting blood drawn in hopes he would find the answer to why he was feeling abnormally lethargic. The results came back as Lyme disease, which Joe Giacchino was thrilled to hear because that meant the doctors could start treatment and return him to his normal life, which included playing baseball at Malvern Prep in Malvern, Pa.
However, the old adage, “Mother knows best,” fits perfectly in this story.
Joe Giacchino, a West Chester, Pa. native, has played baseball his entire life. Whether it was playing catch with his brothers Dan and Brian or traveling across the nation with his parents Lynn and Larry to play in various AAU tournaments, Joe, or “Jeezy” as his friends call him, has dreamed of playing college baseball since eighth grade. So when the outfielder had trouble fielding fly balls, he knew something was wrong:
I went to a showcase at Villanova, an event that would showcase my skills to college coaches in hopes that I would get recruited. I could not catch a fly ball. It was the most embarrassing moment of my entire life. Catching a fly ball is something that I have been able to do since the age of five. Now all of a sudden, I wasn’t able to do it. It was because the baseball, when in flight, would appear to bounce around almost like a knuckle ball would, and I misjudged just about every one.
But catching a fly ball was the least of Giacchino’s problems. It got the point where even getting out of bed required more than normal strength.
“I was having some serious trouble getting out of bed in the morning to get to school,” Giacchino said. “Some days it would take me close to an hour, and those were the days where my mom would yell up to me from the kitchen to get up, and I just physically could not muster enough strength to get my body up and going.”