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Baseball: A player to admire in the high school ranks

February 24, 2009 | 11:56 am


If anyone ever complains about feeling down, tired or lacking energy, think of All-City left-handed pitcher Ryan Santhon of Taft.

He had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last November. His pitching days were supposedly done for a year.

But on Saturday at the Taft alumni game, there was Santhon on the mound pitching in his senior year -- right-handed. He threw a scoreless inning, walking two.

He taught himself to throw right-handed just so he'd be the first pitcher on Taft's new field. Talk about tenacity and toughness -- that's Santhon.

"I had nothing to lose," he said.

Asked if he'll try to pitch in a regular game this season, Santhon said, "I want to try, but I don't know if my coach is going to let me."

On March 10, Santhon will be cleared to start hitting, so beware. For anyone who works as hard as he does, success is bound to happen.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Taft's Ryan Santhon. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times