Tallahassee, FL - The rays of what feels like the summer sun reach down in early February. It's 70 degrees and the start of the baseball season is days away. This is Jason Dodson's favorite time of year.
He's a sophomore who plays for the junior varsity team at Leon High School. His positions: first base and pitcher.
But as Dodson makes his way through practice, you instantly realize there's something different about him.
"I expect big things out of myself. I mean, I'm a competitive person," Dodson says.
While that's clear, that's also not what strikes the eye. What does become apparent is that Dodson hits, fields and throws with one hand.
"Obviously it didn't feel natural at first, but just doing it since I was young, its just became natural," he said. "And I don't think anything of it, really."
Dodson has a congenital hand anomaly. There's nothing the doctors can do; he was born with it.
"I can move it around, but I can't squeeze or catch anything with it," he said.
His inspiration is former major league pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott also played with one hand and won 87 games and struck out 888 batters.
When Dodson is throwing the ball, he keeps the glove on his left hand and then quickly slips his right hand into the mitt to field. He said it takes no more than a second.
"It's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it," he said.
Leon Varsity Head Coach Robbie Zimmerman saw Dodson last year at a tryout.
"I was just boggled at how well he played the game of baseball," Zimmerman said. "You can't put any stamp of 'not gonna be able to do it' on him because I've seen him do so many things that I didn't think he was gonna be able to do, so you never know."
Of course, he's always going to go after his dream.
"I want to start on varsity and get a scholarship," he said.
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