Cancer Survivor Hits 3 Inside-the-Park Home Runs in 1 Game for HS Team

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2014

via The Sacramento Bee

Tino Luigi, now known as "The Great McBeano,” has definitely earned that nickname.

The McClatchy High School (Sacramento, California) senior second baseman recently had one of the greatest games in high school baseball history, but the story is even more remarkable given everything Luigi has overcome in his life.

Luigi was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastomaa cancer of the nervous system—when he was only five years old, according to The Sacramento Bee's Joe DavidsonThe outlook wasn't favorable according to doctors, via Davidson:

A large tumor had wrapped around his adrenal gland, kidneys and liver. His bone marrow, doctors told his parents, was 90 percent cancerous.

His chance of surviving more than five years was as low as 10 percent. They were told that if the cancer didn’t kill their boy, the treatment might. Luigi had chemotherapy and radiation and eventually underwent a stem-cell transplant, during which his cells were harvested, cleansed, frozen, thawed and replaced.

He needed a transplant at the age of six, but a tragedy made the recovery process even tougher. Weeks after Tino's transplant, his brother Nate lost his life after a serious motorcycle accident.

Now, Tino has been cancer-free for 12 years and plays for his high school's baseball team. It's tough to top his life story, but he made a good run at it on April 23.

During a game against Florin High School (Sacramento, California), Luigi had a game to remember—all thanks to his home field. McClatchy's outfield doesn't have fences, so fielders better be prepared to hustle on deep fly balls.

In his first at-bat of the game, Luigi hit a deep fly ball and made it around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. That would be impressive by itself, but he accomplished that same feat in each of his next two at-bats.  

Three at-bats, three inside-the-park home runs. He had never hit a home run before, so his outburst certainly wasn't expected. Davidson also wrote that it is believed that Luigi is the first area player to hit a home run in three consecutive at-bats.

[h/t Prep Rally]