There is an interesting article today in the Charleston Post and Courier about Slade Heathcott, who is currently tearing it up in A ball to the tune of .312/.392/.504. I really did not know anything about this kid's personal history, and was surprised to hear about how bad it got before the Yankees sent him to Alcoholics Anonymous:
The wildest drinking night of Slade Heathcott's senior year started with a party. He blacked out and ended up five miles through the woods and clear across Texarkana. The police found Heathcott a bloody mess with a dangerously deep slash several inches up his right forearm. They whisked him to the emergency room.
"I didn't know what happened until later," Heathcott said. "I went up to a random house and started pounding on the door. Then I punched my arm through a kitchen window. The woman who owned the house said she just bought it from a drug dealer and was really afraid. She would have shot me but said she forgot she had unloaded the gun."
Apparently the team discovered something was wrong only after he nearly missed a team trip to the Dominican Republic.
The team set him up with an AA sponsor, and he has seemed to turn his life around:
Heathcott hopes to inspire people, particularly kids, through his journey of salvation that began with a church visit in Tampa on April 4, 2010 -- not long after the New York Yankees sent him to an Alcoholics Anonymous program.
"God changed my heart," Heathcott said.
This kind of story is inspiring and worrying at the same time. I am really rooting for this kid to turn his life around and have great success. But I have had enough experience with alcoholics to have an idea of how difficult this can be. Still, the article was a good read and worth sharing.