Oregon Baseball signs 15-year-old to full-ride scholarship
EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Ducks Baseball Program officially signed a 15-year-old to a letter of intent to join the team on Friday night.
The teenager is one of the youngest to ever join the team, and according to head coach George Horton, he received the first full-ride scholarship in Oregon baseball history.
James Dahl has been a part of the Oregon Baseball family since last fall, when he'd often visit PK Park to meet the players.
James has always had a love for baseball, but he had to quite six years ago when he was diagnosed with Rasmussen's Encephalitis, a disease that causes seizure and impairs motor skills. But now, he's back on the baseball squad, donning the green and yellow.
A core group of the team, including infielders Kyle Kasser and Gabe Matthews led the way on Dahl's involvement with the team.
"We do a lot of fun things with James," said Matthews. "He's a fun kid -- he makes us laugh, he throws out movie quotes, he's just a funny kid."
"He's decided to choose this tough road to become the best baseball player that he can become," said coach Horton. "He's announcing tonight that he's going to become an Oregon Duck next year."
For James, the hard work starts right off the bat.
"He better give us some dugout energy. There's a lot of different ways to help a team win, and sending out positive energy, whether he says anything or not," said Horton. "I might even teach him to heckle the opposing pitchers."
His new teammates say that they believe Dahl will bring a lot to the new team.
"To have James around just kind of helps us get away," said Kasser. "And he brings just so much joy to our lives, knowing what he goes through and has been through just makes you really appreciate and not take for granted what you have."
On Friday night, Dahl was given his own spot in the locker room, new Oregon baseball attire and season tickets to all the home Duck games to enjoy with his family.