New York Mets prospect Luis Vasquez threw out the first pitch at Tuesday’s Brooklyn Cyclones game.
BROOKLYN — Things can change in the blink of an eye.
One year ago today, Mets prospect Luis Vasquez had the best performance of his young career, allowing just one hit over three innings for the DSL Mets.
Today, Vasquez took the mound in Brooklyn — not as a pitcher, but as a recovering cancer patient.
In early July, Vasquez was treated for osteosarcoma — a rare form of bone cancer that begins in the cells and forms in the bones.
On Tuesday, Vasquez threw out the first pitch at the Brooklyn Cyclones game. The 20-year-old was cheered on by a boisterous crowd and by the entire Baby Bums roster, who encircled him at the mound.
Vasquez, a 6-3, 197 lb. right hander from Santo Domingo, went 3-0 with a 3.00 earned-run average and a 1.333 WHIP in 45.0 innings for the Dominican Summer League Mets last season.
Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo was overcome with emotion at the sight of Vasquez. “To see him today was major,” Alfonzo said. “I almost cried. After everything he’s been through — all the situations he’s been in — to see him throw the first pitch, that’s huge.”
The entire roster has been aware of Vasquez’s story since the spring, Alfonzo said. “It’s something that we’ve known since the first day. Every player was aware,” he said. The Cyclones have been sending Vasquez motivational photos and videos since the spring, according to Alfonzo.
In April, the St. Lucie Mets recorded a get-well message for Vasquez in Spanish that made waves on social media. Earlier this month, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo surprised Vasquez at the Ronald McDonald House New York, as part of Global McDelivery Day.
“Just to see him walking on a baseball field is great,” said Alfonzo.