Daniel Poncedeleon’s dad scores ball from son’s inspiring MLB debut (vid)
Daniel Poncedeleon made his inspirational MLB debut on Monday, starting the St. Louis Cardinals’ showdown with the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park.
We’re so proud of you, @_ponce14! pic.twitter.com/68G8gWuJSz
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 23, 2018
Not only was Poncedeleon’s father, Ramon, in attendance to see his son overcome the odds after suffering a life-threatening injury last year, he also was the beneficiary of a great gesture from a fan also attending the game.
As his son miraculously pitched seven innings of no-hit baseball, a foul ball in the seventh inning landed in Ramon’s section, but just out of his grasp. A kindly fan seated nearby generously gave Ramon the baseball, giving the father a keepsake to treasure from such an emotional and memorable evening.
Ramon Poncedeleon discusses his son Daniel's incredible big league debut on the mound. pic.twitter.com/Uyya6oMsiu
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 24, 2018
Poncedeleon’s major-league dreams, not to mention his life, were in jeopardy after a comebacker struck him in the right temple during a game on May 9, 2017. Emergency surgery was required and doctors worried about Poncedeleon would survive. But the 26-year-old pitcher never gave up hope.
Poncedeleon says he always maintained faith that he would get back on the mound following emergency brain surgery: "I never thought I wasn't going to play. I was asking my wife, 'When I am going to get on the bus to go back?' and the bus already left weeks before." #STLCards pic.twitter.com/icL7mZw2al
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) July 23, 2018
Poncedeleon took to Twitter on Tuesday to express heartfelt gratitude for all the support he has received over the past year.
Thank you everyone for the support! The love is overwhelming. I wouldn’t be here without your prayers #Psalm34 pic.twitter.com/OEOCq6kqFM
— Daniel Poncedeleon (@_ponce14) July 24, 2018
As noted, Poncedeleon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but was pulled due to a 116-pitch count.
14 months ago Daniel Poncedeleon had emergency brain surgery after taking a line drive to the head.
Tonight, in his MLB debut, he pitched 7 no-hit innings. pic.twitter.com/CF63cK6ECe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2018
The Cardinals went on to lose to the Reds by a score of 2-1. While Poncedeleon obviously would have preferred notching a victory, there’s probably little else he would change about such a remarkable evening.