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Northwestern’s Luke Farrell overcoming Challenges

Junior Luke Farrell‘s (Northwestern) journey to the Cape League proved to be longer than many players who have passed through these fields.

“There were some obstacles for sure,” said the 6’6 Wareham Gatemen right-hander. Farrell spent his freshman year recovering from an operation to remove a golf ball-sized tumor in his throat.

The son of Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell, Farrell was at a dentist’s appointment when he discovered the lump he assumed was from having his tonsils removed several months before was actually a tumor.

But the righty with the big smile took the news in step. “I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I think I took it in stride, I guess. I did everything I could do to handle that situation with my family and doctors.”

Two weeks after the surgery, he left the hospital and started working on recovering and getting back into pitching form, which included putting weight back on after losing 25 pounds in the hospital.

“I missed the first quarter of my freshman year and I showed up in January,” he recalled. “After about a month of pretty much just laying around, I started moving around a little bit more and started running a little bit and lifting and throwing, so it was not an easy road to come back but it worked out.”

He returned to the field for Northwestern in 2010 with 11 appearances on the mound. He may have only pitched 18 innings that year, but it was the start to a recovery that lead him to the Cape.

This past spring, he delivered a 6-3 record, 3.33 ERA, and 65 strikeouts in 13 appearances on the mound for the Wildcats. With a solid season back under him, he came out to the Cape, following in his older brothers’ footsteps. Jeremy and Shane each played for Falmouth, Jeremy in 2007 and Shane in 2009.

“Presented with this opportunity, it was a no-brainer to come out here,” said the youngest Farrell. “This is a pretty historic league and there are a ton of great players here every year that go on to the major leagues. Once I got to college, this was a big goal of mine to get out here, to pitch well enough to come out here, so I was pretty excited.”

Farrell has come away with two wins in his two starts for the Gatemen this season, with a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings of work, and ten strikeouts, putting his change-up, curveball, and 90 mph fastball to good use.

“I was pleased with [my start],” he said. “I felt like I threw the ball pretty well the first day, so I’m just looking to get out and throw again.”

Ashley Crosby is the Director of Social Media for the Cape Cod Baseball League, where she has been a part of the public relations staff for four years. You can follow her travels through the Cape Cod Baseball League on her blog at High Heels at Home Plate.

Photo by Tim Schorer