By Mara Mazar | firstname.lastname@example.org
With any sport comes the possibility of injury. And for baseball players, a torn labrum is a common season-ending injury.
Frankie Martello can speak to that. He was out for the 2016 baseball season with a torn labrum in his throwing arm. But through dedication, perseverance and the support of those around him, he would come back stronger than ever.
Martello was recruited as a second baseman for the Flagler College baseball team in 2015, but he would later move to third base.
Martello’s sophomore year of college in 2016 started out normally, but as the season progressed, he began feeling pain in his throwing arm.
“I started to feel my arm start to hurt every day and I tried to throw through it for about a month, and then finally I realized that I had to get it checked out,” Martello said.
Martello went to see the team doctor, Dr. Tod Northrup, where he was given an MRI, confirming the tear in his labrum.
Surgery repaired the tear in Martello’s shoulder in April 2016. From there, Martello would go through three weeks with his arm in a sling and four months of physical therapy.
“The biggest struggle was making sure not to rush through the process, and not giving up when I was feeling bad that particular day,” Martello said.
In 2017, Martello was back to playing. Although he had gotten the approval to play again, he was unsure of how ready he actually was.
“My mobility was 100 percent and my strength was 100 percent, so I was 100 percent ready to throw, but mentally I was still kind of nervous because I knew how the pain was,” Martello said. “I was just coming off of surgery and I didn’t want to overdo it right away.”
Martello continued to practice with the team in the mindset that he needed to prove to Coach David Barnett that he was still just as strong of a player as he was before the surgery.
Martello played very little in the 2017 season after the surgery. He focused on practicing so that he could get back on the field for the games more often.
By the time the 2018 season began, Martello was mentally and physically ready to play – and ready to show Barnett what he could do.
“I was ready to just enjoy my last season, whether I played or not. I knew that any opportunity that I did get to play, I would just be ready for my chance,” Martello said. “When our other third baseman was benched, they put me in and I ended up doing really well the first couple weeks and he kept putting me in the lineup.”
Martello said that he would not waste any opportunity he got to play. That season he was playing in ways he formerly believed he was not capable of. In one game, he had two home runs.
“I didn’t think that I would ever hit a home run in college, let alone two in one game,” Martello said.
Martello was awarded the Drysdale Scholarship award for demonstrating outstanding character, dedication, and commitment to the the Flagler College baseball program. He was also featured on a baseball Instagram page for a bare-handed throw.
“I made some really spectacular plays at third base as well as our team overall having an incredible year,” Martello said.
Martello credits Barnett, his parents, Frank and Mary Martello, and his teammates in his successful comeback.
Martello was able to come to play again this season due to his redshirt status. He was recognized by the Student Government Association as the SGAthlete of the week for the week of Feb. 11, 2019 for being a natural leader.
Martello holds some of the words from his father close as he continues to play in the 2019 season.
“Some of the advice from my dad was, know your role on the team,” Martello said, “and if you finally get that chance, then just be ready for it.”