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.”
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