Injured Arizona veteran says working his dream job as a baseball announcer also helping his recovery
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Baseball has been a lifetime passion for Luke Sanders.
After playing ball for Arizona Christian University, he’s chasing his dream to be a baseball announcer. In fact, baseball has helped Luke heal. “It’s been my recreational therapy, occupational therapy, my speech therapy,” said Sanders in an interview with AZ Family. “When you have something you can improve and love you have, they coincide beautifully.” Luke is back home in Arizona going to school after suffering a traumatic brain injury in an accident in the Army in 2018.
“My injury in the army, summer 2018. I was stationed in Ft Bragg, in the 82nd Airborne, I’d done all the prerequisites for Special Ops. I was about to go to board for solider of the month,” said Sanders. “I was walking from motor pool. There was a crosswalk. I looked left, looked right, looked left again. Everything going good. At the perfectly wrong time, the Staff Sergeant’s wife, on phone, hit me at 37 mph.”
Luke spent 2 and a half weeks in a coma after the accident and spent 6 months in rehabilitation. He considered a return to life as a soldier but chose a medical retirement to come home and pursue his dream of being a broadcaster. “I learned how to walk and speak again. I meet with a speech therapist from the VA once a month. I work on clarity, opening my mouth all the way. not sounding monotone. I do physical therapy for my shoulder and back. I used to be able to run like a gazelle. Now I can’t walk a half mile without my knee giving out. So definitely, at 28, I have an old body. That’s what getting hit by a car at 37 miles per hour will do to you. I gained some weight from the medication I’m taking for my brain. The mental health meds helped me to stay stable and sleep, which was an issue,” said Sanders. “It’s been a day-by-day recovery. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I just focus on the day and what I need to do. But the recovery is coming through.”
And that recovery is on display pitch by pitch. On ACU’s Senior Day, Luke announced the third inning of their game against Benedictine. “...and Daniel Durazo hit a home run.” It was the moment that Luke had been waiting for. He got to use his signature home run call! “I always watched games and loved playing video games after practice. I was trying to figure out, if I become a broadcaster, what’s my specific call? The Mets broadcaster uses a Falsetto voice. ‘It’s outta here,” said Sanders imitating Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen “I was cool being able to do it today.”
Sander’s end goal is to work in professional baseball. He wants to head back to the east coast after finishing school and work in the Carolina League. He’s also a big Chicago Cubs fan. His dream would be for one day to work for the team. Luke still has a ways to go to achieve his dream. “I’m really happy with where God has me. What he’s got me through and where he has me going.”
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