No announcement yet.

Baseball: No Problem for Tim Borst

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Baseball: No Problem for Tim Borst

    BASEBALL: Tourette’s no problem for Titans’ Borst
    14 April 2012
    PE News
    Tim Borst.jpg_____________Tim_Borst_celebrating_victory_.jpg

    Web Link: Watch a Video Interview with Tim Borst

    HEMET, California — Hemet Tahquitz baseball coach Ron Savage and assistant Tim Morovick were in the dugout one day last year, observing star player Tim Borst.

    “I said ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d think Tim has Tourette Syndrome,’” Savage said. “Morovick said to me ‘Yeah, he does.’”

    Indeed Borst, 18, does have TS, a condition the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says affects three out of every 1,000 children 6 through 17 in the United States.

    The malady disorder has not hindered him athletically. Borst, after Tuesday’s uncharacteristic 11-9 shelling at the hands of San Jacinto, is 4-2 on the pitcher’s mound with a 2.62 earned run average. The 5-foot-11 right-hander also plays shortstop and is hitting .436 with two home runs.

    His ability has made him a recruited walk-on for next season at Fresno State.

    “Tim is very upfront about it,” Savage said. “He doesn’t have a severe, bad case. I think it’s a goal of his to be sort of a spokesperson (for kids with TS). He wants to show that it doesn’t have to hold you down and you can do whatever you want in life.”

    Borst was diagnosed at age 8.

    “We noticed him blinking his eyes a lot and twitching his arm and clearing his throat,” said Cherry Borst, the player’s mother. “He has these tics and sounds he makes, but after a while we just accepted it as part of Tim and we love him anyway.”

    Said Tim Borst: “It was not a big deal around my house. I was like any one of the other kids. They just let me be normal.”

    TS is a neurological disorder characterized by tics — usually physical jerks and involuntary vocalizations.

    The first acknowledgment of the disorder may have been in a 15th century book, describing a priest whose tics were believed to be prompted by demons. It was a dubious conclusion at best.

    Medicine has come a long way since. Long thought by experts to be a psychological problem, TS has been proven to be a neurological one that is also accompanied by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in one-third of the cases.

    Baseball players, of course, are known for their rituals. Borst is no exception. When he bats, he routinely smooths out the dirt around the plate with his cleats. Then he taps the bat on the plate, hitches up his pants and mysteriously reaches with his right hand for his rear before the pitch arrives.

    “Tourette’s and OCD are closely related,” Borst said. “There are intertwining aspects. When I bat I always touch my left (rear) cheek. There are things I need to do to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Otherwise I’d honestly freak out.”

    Some sufferers of TS involuntarily curse. This rare symptom was made known in a memorable episode of the old TV drama “LA Law.”

    Thankfully, profane outbursts are not a part of Borst’s repertoire.

    “(TV) tends to show the worst of the worst,” Cherry Borst said. “Tim’s case is not as severe.”

    Added Savage with a laugh: “If anybody has a reason to yell and curse it’s him, but he doesn’t.”

    But youngsters can be cruel and Borst’s condition was bad enough for him to be teased. He went home upset on more than once and had to be soothed by his parents, Cherry and Steve.

    “Some kids made fun of me,” Borst said. “When you’re a little kid you get embarrassed and just want to be accepted as being normal. Lots of times I felt bad, but my parents would calm me down and tell me not to take it to heart.”

    Baseball was always his refuge. Borst throws a fastball that has been clocked in the low 90s. Against San Jacinto on Tuesday he displayed his hitting ability with a long triple.

    “On the field I’m not judged by the way I look or whether I twitch, it’s just how I play ball,” Borst said. “That’s why baseball has always had special meaning for me. I think it’s why I’m so passionate.”

    It’s helped that former major league standout Jim Eisenreich was similarly afflicted. Eisenreich was a .290 lifetime hitter in 15 seasons with five major league teams, including the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins. He started the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for children with TS.

    Borst said Eisenreich has been an inspiration, just as the Tahquitz star has motivated his teammates.

    “Tim’s a great baseball player,” Titans catcher Trevor Nelson said. “He’s a leader for us and we look up to him as a hero. He’s playing at Fresno State next season, and that’s the kind of thing we all want.”
    TouretteLinks Forum