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More than a game: O's prospect does it for dad

@zachsilver
August 27, 2019

If you think the story of the Delmarva Shorebirds is special -- the one that details how the Orioles’ Class A affiliate went from barely scraping .500 last year to a playoff-bound powerhouse atop the South Atlantic League this go-round -- then wait until you hear about their shortstop. Chief

If you think the story of the Delmarva Shorebirds is special -- the one that details how the Orioles’ Class A affiliate went from barely scraping .500 last year to a playoff-bound powerhouse atop the South Atlantic League this go-round -- then wait until you hear about their shortstop.

Chief among the Shorebirds’ offensive and defensive production has been Adam Hall, the Orioles’ second-round pick from 2017 who has batted .302/.383/.400 this year while serving as a stalwart in the middle infield in his first Class A season.

And he’s done it all with a heavy heart that keeps him closely tied to his home in Ontario.

Six years ago, Hall’s father, Tyler, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an aggressive form of cancer that recently spread to his central nervous system. It’s become difficult to travel to see his son try to make his big league dreams come true, but a recent doctor-approved trip to Salisbury, Md., made it worth the wait.

“Anytime that we can get out and watch him live, it’s a big thing for us,” Tyler said recently. “It’s an 11- or 12-hour drive to get here, so we try to target these long homestands. But the main thing is not really watching him play; it’s getting to spend some time with him.”

The Shorebirds recently held Strike Out Cancer Night. Tyler was the guest of honor, visiting the Shorebirds’ clubhouse, taking the field with the team, standing with them for the national anthem and throwing out the first pitch to his son, all things he hasn’t been able to do since first introducing his son to the sport.

“I couldn’t be prouder. In lots of ways, not just baseball,” Tyler said. “Both his mom and I and his whole family. He’s a great kid. A man.”

“Sometimes,” Adam quipped.

“Mostly,” Tyler smiled.

Hall’s story serves as just a slice of what is happening on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Shorebirds are made up of several of Baltimore’s top prospects. Joining Hall -- the Orioles’ No. 14 prospect, per MLB Pipeline -- are Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore’s top picks from the past two Drafts, among several other inhabitants of the club’s top 30 list.

“These guys are turning heads!” Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias tweeted on Monday.

Indeed, they are. And one player leading the charge is also doing his part as a model off the field.

“I think Adam has been extremely mentally tough through this and handled it like an absolute champ,” said Delmarva manager Kyle Moore. “It sort of tells the team what life is really all about. It’s not necessarily about a baseball game.”

“I don’t think there is a way to say thank you for everything, but having him get me to where I am in baseball and life, obviously, it’s always greater than baseball,” Adam said. “It’s family. And kind of been something that we’ve been on -- that family always comes first.”

Zachary Silver is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Baltimore/Washington. Follow him on Twitter @zachsilver.