Tyler Austin is a 21-year-old right field prospect in the New York Yankees farm system, but his journey to professional baseball wasn’t so smooth. At only 17 years old – right as scouts and showcases and the looming pressure of baseball at the next level came into focus – he noticed a lump in his testicle.
“The ultrasound identified a mass in Tyler’s testicle. The doctor told them that 98% of the time in boys of Tyler’s age, this type of mass was malignant. Tyler was in shock. Kim began to cry. She wished she could trade places with her son. This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t come at a less opportune time. In the summer of 2009 Tyler was one of the top baseball players in his home state of Georgia, probably in the country. He was in the process of workouts and home visits with MLB scouts. In a couple of days he was scheduled to participate in the East Coast Professional Showcase with hundreds of scouts from around the country. Playing in the big leagues had been Tyler’s dream since he could walk. Now his career—his life—was on the line.”
Austin managed to overcome the diagnosis – after a successful surgery, he was showcasing his talents to scouts on the field the very next week. And now he’s playing professionally, as he had always hoped to, having overcome adversity that threatened not only his baseball career, but his life. Oh, and by the way: he’s the 75th best prospect in all of baseball.
Austin’s story is documented in depth by our friends at the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation. As much as we enjoy making jokes about people’s junk ’round these parts, we’d be remiss not to insist that you routinely check up on things.
If you’d like to learn more about the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation, or learn more about testicular cancer as a whole, go here.