Local Pirates Fan Receives Chance Of A Lifetime - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Local Pirates Fan Receives Chance Of A Lifetime

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MONONGALIA COUNTY -

There are Pirates fans, and there are PIRATES fans.

Gage Beavers, 8, goes to Mountainview Elementary school in Morgantown. He is as dedicated of a fan as they come.

"Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Bryan Morris, Jason Grilli," said Gage as he tries to remember each and every member of the team.

Like most fans he's got signed baseballs, an autographed bat. He even has Neil Walker's wrist band. But Gage Beavers has one thing probably no one else has, a signed leg.

"When he was born he had a leg, he was missing the tibia in his lower leg, part of his knee, and part of his ankle. He had a leg and a foot, but that had to be amputated at 11 months old," said Gage's Dad Matt Beavers.

Gage's prosthetic isn't an ordinary prosthetic, it's a Pittsburgh Pirates prosthetic autographed by his favorite players.

A leg amputation was just the first hurdle in life for Gage. At 3 years old he came down with a nearly fatal case of meningitis that hospitalized him for more than 40 days.

If you think either of these slowed him down, you don't know Gage.

"His leg keeps him from running as fast as some of the kids, but he doesn't let it hold him back. He's not afraid on the baseball field, he's always excited to play," said his dad.

Gage has played baseball for 4 years, playing nearly all year long.

"It's hard sometimes to be on those bleachers watching him," said his mom Kelli Beavers. "My heart beats so fast, I just want him to get a hit, get on base. It doesn't have to be a home run, just want him to get a hit."

He hits the field every chance he gets, obsessed with his favorite sport.

"He will stand out in the yard, with his bat and bat weight on and swing the bat," said Kelli. "Then he'll take the bat weight off and swing some more. I saw him the other night, I was standing on the porch and we was (checking his muscles) and had no idea anyone was watching."

In May he had the chance of a lifetime when Pirates second baseman Neil Walker invited him to practice where he was featured on the Root Sports show Inside Pirates Baseball and got to meet all of his favorite stars.

"I was talking to AJ Burnett. I met him at PirateFest and I asked him to sign my leg again, he said I already signed it. And then I was like 'no, I got a new one.' Then he grabbed his head and fell on the ground," said Gage.

Gage's love for baseball and story has inspired many, and his passion has his parents thinking big, after all in 1993 a New York Yankee born with one hand threw a no-hitter.

"I feel deep down inside of me he can be the next Jim Abbott," said Kelli. "He's going to go far. He loves it"

"He's an inspiration to me, my wife," said Matt. "He changed my life for the better. Just watching him, his