We couldn’t be happier tonight to see West Virginia Power’s Kyle McPherson throw seven innings of no-hit ball against Lexington. The kid who had his first blackbelt when he was eight years old, graduated when he was 16, and battled WVU’s Pat White in athletics is starting to feel comfortable on the pitchers mound. He has ninteen strikeouts in his past two starts. (Reliever Ryan Kelly gave up a single with two outs in the eighth to break up the no-hitter.) Here is a story on Kyle from RumBunter last year:
Talking to Kyle McPherson it was obvious he had a tremendous childhood. The McPherson household sounded like a lot of fun, just like the Spike team bus. It was also similar in another way as well. Effort, dedication and hard work were involved. So be warned opposing teammates that lanky right hander on the mound has worked his tail off throughout his life and you might want to read this article. It has some information that might just save you a few lumps.
Take this tidbit of knowledge about growing up in the McPherson household. He started taking Taekwondo lessons when he was five.
‘Tae’–which means, to strike or break with foot, ‘kwon’–which means, to strike or break with fist, and ‘do’ which means the way. Put it all together and the young McPherson was learning the way of kicking and punching. For my five year old Brody, also known as the Franchise, it is called a tantrum. To five year old Kyle it was anything but.
Sounds so cute, doesn’t it? Little boy Kyle with his starched white gi and his karate belt tied around his waist it every so tightly bowing to his sensi.
But this wasn’t just an innocent picture snapping event, or even content for the family scrapbook or just another magnet for the refrigerator sport for Kyle. Far from it. This was a sport that would become a life long passion. He still trains today. He attributes the fundamentals he learned sixteen years ago to now earning a paycheck in professional baseball.
After all, when you earn your first black belt when you are eight years old. It’s a special moment. And that is not a typo or a misprint ladies and gentlemen, that is 8 years old.
The number eight is tricky. Most five year olds struggle writing it, not Kyle, but more on that later. Kyle was special. Five year old Kyle was busy mastering taekwondo, the martial art that places an emphasis on using kicks thrown from mobile stances. And he was damn good at it.
I know what you’re thinking…you said his first black belt. Yeh, after he earned his first black belt, he went on to be an instructor. Kyle then moved into the art of learning Kung Fu (which means achievement through great effort) with his sister. He earned a black belt in that as well.
He credits his martial arts background when he says, ”it provides a big help with flexibility and mind set on the baseball diamond.” Kyle McPherson has achieved a great deal in his life. With great effort.
McPherson is an athlete. We know that. His childhood was spent throwing at the spot on the rubber mat his Dad spray painted for him. Kyle also must have practiced swinging back fists while waiting for the balls to be thrown back….and Kyle put great effort into one other important aspect of his life.
”I started an advance curriculm when I was in first grade.” He was so intelligent and had such a work ethic he pulled the Doogie Howser, M.D.
Kyle took advanced classes, exams, and placement tests. He aced them.
He continually progressed ahead of other students. So much so, that when he was going ”head to head for all of the seasonal stats with Pat White (who went to rival Daphne),” Kyle had studied his way into a disadvantage.
“I graduated when I was 16.”
Kyle never mentioned the fact to me that he was always much younger than his competition both on the athletic field and in the classroom. I had to break this story into four parts just to comprehend the talent McPherson possesses.
He was two years younger than his competition–on graduation day. Pat White was drafted in the third round of the amateur baseball draft and would be drafted many more times for baseball, but decided to play football and had an amazing career in Morgantown, WV. He is now a Miami Dolphin. Kyle also chose to go to college, but he would pursue his dream of baseball. And his dream is coming true in a big way.
I am not surprised, but I really had to think hard to comprehend how mentally tough McPherson had to be to achieve this in his life.
Think about it.
Well with all this brain and brawn, I just had to ask, ‘so….Kyle, if an opposing team charges the mound I guess they should think twice?’
His answer came after a brief pause, “I suppose so, sir”
More on the interview: