The Gift Of Pitch

Dr. Stan DeFehr has been part of the award-winning BlueStem Cardiology team for many years, but he recently earned another award for…pitching a baseball. Dr. DeFehr won the Don Drysdale Award for Best Pitcher at the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp. The “fantasy camp” was held  November 9-15 in Vero Beach, Florida.

This was the fourth time Dr. DeFehr has visited Dodgertown and the second time he’s won the award for pitching. He earned the same honor in 2008.

“I was really surprised, but quite pleased,” Dr. DeFehr said. “With my health issues (cancer), I was a little weak. My goal was just to go down there and have a good time. So, the award was a nice surprise.”

From 1948 to 2008, Vero Beach was the Dodgers’ home for spring training and where they held fantasy camps until the switch to Glendale, Arizona.

This was the first camp held since that time.

The week-long baseballfest attracts men 30 and older from across the country. (One 76-year-old attendee participated in his 39th camp.) Some of the participants played college ball and a few played professionally in Europe. And most are much younger than the 63-year-old cardiologist from Oklahoma.

“The young guys can throw really hard, but they have trouble throwing strikes,” Dr. DeFehr smiled. “My curveball was working well that week.” A friend of Dr. DeFehr’s periodically visits to pray for his health. During the friend’s last visit, Dr. DeFehr asked if he might pray for the good doctor’s curveball.

“I thought as long as he was at it…” Dr. DeFehr laughed. “And, sure enough, it worked.”

His friend appreciated the sense of humor, especially during difficult circumstances.

“I continue to work when I can, but I still need to set goals to make myself get off the couch. And baseball camp is just one of those goals.”

While he doesn’t consider himself a fan of the Dodgers, Dr. DeFehr is a big fan of their camp.

“At Dodger Camp, you stay in villas on the property and within walking distance to the clubhouse and diamonds. And you have much more time and interaction with the former players.”

And talk about a lineup of former players! At the most recent camp, Dr. DeFehr got to meet and mingle with many of the all-time Dodger and baseball greats: Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax, Ralph Branca, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Tommy Lasorda, and Rick Monday, just to name a few.

Dr. DeFehr said the whole week was a home run.

“It was a wonderful experience being around such outstanding players and listening to them tell stories about their playing days and some of the people they played against.”

In January, Dr. DeFehr will return to the Boston Red Sox fantasy camp in Ft. Myers, Florida.

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