August 29th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

One-handed kid meets his baseball idol

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.

From the moment he wakes up to the time he goes to bed, Reece Holloway is living, breathing and thinking about baseball. He taught himself how to hit the ball at the tender age of 2 and has never let anything stop him from doing what he loves best.

When Reece's idol Chipper Jones saw the story of this young player, he had to meet him. Jones invited the whole Holloway family to a Braves game in Atlanta.

Jones told his loyal fan to try hard and do his best, no matter what life throws his way.  What seemed nearly impossible has occurred as a result of this meeting: Young Reece is even more enthusiastic about playing the game of baseball.

Watch: Meet Reece Holloway

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Brett Michener

    We need to stop referring to people by their diagnosis. Child with one hand sounds better doesn't it? He is a person who has one hand not the other way around.

    August 29, 2012 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rrnyc

      As a Mom of a child with one hand I completely agree with you Brett – I hope the author of this post reads this and takes a mental note and passes it to colleagues at CNN to remember going forward.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      Brett, I couldn't agree more. I'm a special education teacher, and it drives me nuts when my students are referred to as "those autistic kids", or "that Down's kid". People are people, first and foremost.

      August 29, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  2. skippydog

    This kid has single-handedly restored my faith in humanity.

    August 29, 2012 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lukas


      August 29, 2012 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • Reece's mom

      Thanks for your support!!

      August 30, 2012 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
  3. JonfromLI

    Great story. Jones has my respect.

    August 29, 2012 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reece's mom


      August 30, 2012 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  4. sww

    He needs to be introduced to Jim Abbott, formor MLB pitcher that only had one had.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rick

    This is a good story but this kids idol should obviously be Jim Abbott. He was a one handed pitcher in the major leagues. I blame the kid's parents.Remember when he was on season 1 on Boy Meets World?

    August 29, 2012 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristen

      Parents to blame??? Really??!!!???? Really???? My son was born with only his right hand in 1979. He was about 9 years old when Jim Abbott was playing ball. I contacted the Anaheim Angels (team name at that time), if my son could have a meet & greet with Jim Abbott in Baltimore, as we were stationed at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Guess what???? The Angels and Jim Abbott REFUSED.... So, if Chipper Wilson is this boy's idol... let Chipper Wilson be his idol. At least Chipper Wilson had the decency to meet with Reece. God Bless Chipper Wilson and his compassion for this little boy, who will be a total blessing to his parents, family, friends and community.

      September 1, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • bmerbob

      I know there are people who have to make snide and stupid comments on every blog, but I really thought this story could be one where that doesn't happen. I would love to know what kind of mentality it takes to find fault with a story like this, and then 'blame' the parents, who are obviously doing a fabulous job with their child, for anything? I wonder if we could ask those of you who have this inexplicable, yet to be named social disorder to just refrain from posting on stories such as this. Thank you.

      September 2, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  6. Allan

    You 'blame' the kid's parents? Really? If a kid with two hands idolizes Jim Abbott, do you blame his parents, too? Lord.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Brian

    Jim Abbott? Blaming the parents? Seriously??? This kid wasn't even alive when Jim Abbott retired, so he never got to watch him play! Plus, this family is in Georgia, so naturally, this kid would be a Braves fan! Give me a break!

    August 29, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brian

      I'm deaf myself and I grew up playing baseball. Does that mean I have to idolize a deaf ballplayer like Curtis Pride? NO! I grew up a Braves fan as well, and Chipper was one of my favorite players. This makes me like him even more.

      August 29, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
  8. Kt

    I didn't know who Jim Abbott was til I was older, and I was a big baseball/softball fan. And I'm a girl with one hand. I hope this kid keeps playing, he will be an inspiration to the people around him. I'm sure he will learn to tie his shoes eventually, it took me forever how to figure it out.

    August 29, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Taylor

      I respect that keep striving you'll go far in life

      August 29, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  9. Sydnee

    I had to find an article that could apply to my high school for journalism class, and when I saw this, I knew I had to tell my peers about it. This is a true example of inspiration and achieving goals, and special olympics is coming up and I feel that this can help support them and encourage them even more!

    August 29, 2012 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jason

    I was about to bring up Jim Abbott, he was a great pitcher and I always had a great deal of respect for him... watching him flip that glove to his good hand after each pitch was amazing, especially when he had to field the ball just a second or so after the delivery. That is a great athlete. Good luck to this youngster who is making more out of life than I probably would if I was him. Kudos!

    August 30, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kristen

    To Reece's Mom... I had to laugh that little Reece can do everything but tie his shoes!!!! As being a Mom of a son that was born with only his right hand, Anson was seven (7) years old when he finally learned to tie his shoes. And, we did it with adult sneakers sitting on his lap that had long enough shoe laces. We did the bunny ears first, he accomplished that... then we began to work with him with regular tying of shoes. He accomplished regular shoe tying in about two (2) months. You need to figure out which way "nubby" (sorry, that's what we always called his left hand), works the best with his right hand.

    I would also like to share with you that my son is accomplished with computers and went to a Networking IT Technical School but jobs were outsourced to foreign countries. He then learned to install car stereos, alarms, DVD players, satellite radio, etc. at Best Buy. Unfortunately, after 10 years of doing that, he ruined his right hand and has been out of work for almost two (2) years now. He learned how to hammer a nail (several sizes of nails). He could play X-Box, Nintendo, etc., and be the neighborhood "go-to-guy" for tricks of the trade. He took his driver's license driving test in a 4 speed manual transmission Toyota pick-up truck and only had 6 points taken off of his driving exam. He can shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns. We mastered jungle gyms, etc. on the playground. (I had to learn to be an engineer in my mind to help him figure out how to play on those darn contraptions.) My son played football (tight end) and basketball. He played softball and a little baseball. (His love is basketball.) I even taught him to serve a tennis ball. I'm sure you have taught your son a lot of accomplishments, and I guarantee you, your life will be full of adventure, whether be happy or sad... or even mean and bullying at times. But, my son got thru the bullying/meanness period by joking around about his left hand. (How he lost his had... he had an array of stories but we were military for the first 12 years of his life, so we moved 4 different times by age 12... So, he'd come up with stories.) Heck, the kid even learned how to cut meat in an old fashioned meat counter at the Mom & Pop grocery store in Kern County, California, while he was in high school. He even worked as a machinist in a machine shop that built very small airplane o-rings, washers, etc. He is an amazing young man - now 32 (33 in Nov.) and he and I are very close, even tho he still lives in California and I live in Arizona.

    Hang in there... you are in for the ride of your life because your little Reece will make you the proudest Mom in the world by all of his accomplishments that he will acquire in his life.

    God Bless you and yours!

    September 1, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. One who knows

    I also was born with only one hand and I learned to tie my shoes when I was four. The writer was corect when she suggested long laces;It will give Rece more to work with. It will take a while, but hopefully not until he is seven!
    I wish you all as happy and productive life with many accomplishments – as I have.had.

    September 2, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Kelley

    I LOVE this story! One of my best friends was born with one hand (we're in our 30s now) and she is married with two sons, a college professor and is AMAZING! I never think of her as having a disability, but seeing this story reminded me how incredible she is. Cheers to Reece and his family! 🙂

    September 3, 2012 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Karen

    What a beautiful story! FYI - I'm that best friend of the previous person who posted (Kelley) and I was born without a left hand. Reece is fantastic and blessed to have such wonderful parents. My parents never taught me to think of myself as different from anyone else, yet I learned as I got older not to feel ashamed during those few times that I may need a little assistance. Honestly, most days I forget that I am any different, until I walk past a mirror and am reminded of what other people see.

    To Reece's parents - feel blessed and enjoy watching your son grow. He looks like he's on his way to living a fantastic, full life. Peace & Blessings to You All! 🙂

    PS - He'll learn to tie those shoes! I used to wear a prosthesis in my younger years, though learned I preferred to be without it as I got older. I taught myself how to tie those shoes – and Reece will, too 🙂

    September 3, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. grw

    Should have been Jim Abbott. All the parents had to do was google "one handed pitcher" unless of course they have no idea who Jim Abbott was being that he was a Yankee and all...

    December 6, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Wilbur Borruso

    In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The major league champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series.'`.`

    Most up-to-date article straight from our own blog page

    June 1, 2013 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply

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