Inspiring Little Leaguer pitches All-Star game

July 9, 2008 7:45:52 PM PDT
An All-Star game between Half Moon Bay and San Carlos Little Leaguers took place Wednesday night. A berth in Thursday's championship game was at stake and one player from San Carlos had a lot riding on his shoulders.

Riley Quinn, 11, was the first batter up in the game. He was also the San Carlos starting pitcher.

Quinn packs a lot of inspiration into his play. He was born without part of his left arm, but he is the heart of the team.

"I just try to react like everyone else reacts," Quinn said. "I try to be nice to them."

Quinn watched his older sister and brother play baseball, so it was natural that he picked up a bat when he was 4 years old.

"I played catch with him like any other dad does," Quinn's father Chris said. "But he taught himself how to do the glove transfer; I don't even notice it."

Quinn learns how to adjust to his condition. He has mastered football, skiing, soccer and basketball. He also has learned to tie his shoes.

Sometimes other kids stare at Quinn, but it does not bother him.

"There's always somebody who has it worse than you," Chris Quinn said. "I don't consider Riley to have it worse than anybody. I think he was born with some great internal gifts; great heart, great spirit."

Quinn has been inspired by pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott played 10 years in the American League and was born without a right hand. The two met last year in Palm Springs.