Pearland’s own ‘Johnny’ lives out dream on the diamond

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by Daniel Gotera / KHOU 11 Sports

khou.com

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

PEARLAND - James Davis is a Pearland Oiler. He’s the equipment manager of the baseball team. And no matter what he says or does, everybody loves him.

"There nobody like Johnny," says senior catcher Taylor Basso. "He’s one of a kind."

Everyone knows him as Johnny. The senior was diagnosed with autism when he was young. He knows he has limitations.

"I’m sometimes lazy I have to admit," says Johnny.

After three years of service with the baseball team and countless hours of time with the other Oiler sports, his team on the diamond agreed Johnny deserved much more than just being the equipment manager.

"He is our heart and soul," says senior pitcher Travis Moore.

At the end of April, head baseball coach Anthony Scalise let Johnny suit up for the final series of the season.

"We worked all week on hitting," says Scalise.

"God it felt really amazing, I never put on a baseball, I mean high school uniform before," says Johnny. "Ok I’m going to be honest; I didn’t expect them to call me up to be the first batter."

That’s exactly what he was leading off against Alvin. After taking a ball, Johnny swung a missed at two straight pitches. With the crowd nervous, the fourth pitch came in and Johnny hit to the left part of the diamond. From there, he made it around the bases and thanks to a little help from the guys on defense, he was able to cross home plate.

"When he hit the ball here, he was like a turtle running he just couldn’t pick up the speed," says Scalise.

"I remember everybody was cheering for me," says Johnny. "It was great."

"Seeing that, it brings tears to your eyes," says Basso, who has known Johnny for a long time. "You can’t help but to be happy for him."

It was his first score and probably his last. But it will never be forgotten.

"The one thing I’m going to miss about this school is being part of this, being an Oiler and stuff," says Johnny. "Just being a part of this group you know, it’s so great."

"I think everyone is going to miss him," says Scalise. "Pearland High School is going to be different without him."

How could it not.

 

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