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“[He] almost died in a game and he was not only able to walk again but throw again . . . [it’s] a story that I really wanted to tell.”

MLB pitcher Danny Farquhar's rapid rally from tragedy to triumph compelled ESPN's Michele Steele to profile him for SportsCenter's "SC Featured"

For most people, simply surviving a brain hemorrhage would be a miracle. However, Danny Farquhar isn’t most people.

Saturday’s SportsCenter “SC Featured” will tell the comeback story of Farquhar, a relief pitcher who was stricken during a Chicago White Sox game last April. As Michele Steele reports, after undergoing brain surgery and rehabilitation, Farquhar is now attempting to work his way back to the major leagues in the New York Yankees organization.

“Beyond Relief” will debut in the 8 a.m. ET hour on Saturday morning’s edition of SportsCenter and will re-air in other editions throughout the weekend.

Steele, a SportsCenter reporter doing her first “SC Featured” piece, lives in Chicago and was called in to cover the news on the day Farquhar suffered the hemorrhage in the White Sox dugout. She first met him a few weeks later when he came back to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for a game.

“I was so struck by his attitude and his amazing trajectory,” she said. “This is a guy who almost died in a game, and he was not only able to walk again but throw again. It was just an amazing visual, and a story that I really wanted to tell.”

Steele contacted Farquhar’s agent and proposed the idea of an exclusive comeback story for ESPN.

“He’s done plenty of interviews but what I was pitching them on was a long-form story that would take place over many months,” she said. “It would follow his journey from being rushed by the paramedics to the hospital to trying to make it back to the bigs. Fortunately, they agreed to do it.”

Steele and producer Dale Mauldin made several trips to shoot with Farquhar and his family, and his wife Lexie provided additional video and photos, including his first steps after brain surgery.

“Lexie was super generous with her time and really couldn’t have been more gracious,” Steele said. “Thanks to her, viewers are going to be able to see parts of his life that they’re not going to see anywhere else.

“I think that this is the baseball story of the season,” she said. “Danny Farquhar has transcended the bullpen, which is why we call the story ‘Beyond Relief.’ I think his story is going to resonate and hopefully inspire a lot of people out there.”, The Undefeated projects score Top 5 APSE finishes

Senior writer and commentator Jackie MacMullan’s five-part series on the state of mental health in the NBA and The Undefeated’s music and multimedia project celebrating black female athletes were honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday.

MacMullan’s NBA series tied in voting with Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World-Herald’s review of Nebraska football recruiting for first place in the APSE 2018 contest in projects submitted for the A Division. Senior writer Lonnae O’Neal, associate editor Maya Jones and their Undefeated colleagues’ entry finished fifth in the A Division. The projects will be celebrated at the APSE Summer Conference Banquet in Atlanta on June 19.

– Molly Mita

1. For the 15th consecutive year, ESPN will present the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in its entirety, with the 15-game, 16-team tournament beginning with regional action March 29-31 and concluding with the Frozen Four on April 11 and 13.

2. Kelly Sowatsky found out she needed a kidney so she took matters into her own hands, made a sign, and brought it to a Penguin’s home game asking her fellow hockey fans for help. The Pittsburgh Penguins came to her aide and it resulted in a new kidney and a second chance at life. E:60tells her story Sunday at 9 a.m. on ESPN.

3. ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship presented by Capital One heads to the semifinals this weekend. No. 6 UCLA and No. 2 UConn begin the Sweet 16 action tonight at 7 p.m. ET in Albany, N.Y., with the game airing live on ESPN.

4. UFC Fight Night on ESPN returns Saturday from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with a fight of the year lightweight bout between knockout artists Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje. The card also features a pivotal strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson.

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