Noah Torres, the youngest of Paul and Sophia’s five children, is a normal Chief Moses Middle School student from Moses Lake, Washington–other than the fact he was born with a Cleft Lip and to this day has endured twelve reconstructive bone surgeries in his twelve years on earth.
When he was three years old, he figured out how to unlock the backdoor while his brother and sisters–Paul, Amanda, Angelica, and Audra–were playing baseball in the backyard. Noah opened the door and ran outside. Amanda had just started to swing the bat at full force. Noah stepped into the strike zone and was hit immediately fracturing his skull in three places.
“It was a terrible nightmare for us, I had never heard such a loud scream from the backyard,” said Sophia, his mom.
Noah was immediately rushed to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake, where he fell into a coma. After 24 hours the hospital had to move him to a facility that would care for him better. He was flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spoken, Washington.
Noah almost died, but after five days came out of the coma.
This young competitor watched his family play baseball at a very young age—his dad was a great baseball player. Noah fell in love with the game and wanted to play on a team. He wore a protective helmet for years while healing from the head injury. He asked his mom and dad numerous times through the years to sign him up on a league.
“What any parent like me wants most is to see their son playing on the field. It was difficult for us to tell Noah he couldn’t play. We were very worried that he could get hit by the baseball,” said Paul, his dad.
Noah was so determined that one year he saved up enough money to pay the necessary fees to join the league.
“Noah has such a great heart, and I’m proud of who he is becoming. He once befriended an old man in a wheelchair. That speaks a lot for his character,” said Sophia.
His parents gave in to keep him happy and he began his journey. Noah’s hard work, persistence, and support cast, eventually landed him a spot on the Nationals of Moses Lake—an all-star traveling team that consists of players ages ten, eleven, and twelve.
What inspired you to become a baseball player?
I watched my dad play a lot of baseball for different teams. I wanted to play so much, but they wouldn’t let me. I also watched other kids—I was so jealous because I wanted what they had. Playing baseball like a normal kid would be such a great feeling. I guess that’s what made me work so hard. And now I love the game so much I just want to keep getting better.
What position do you play in baseball?
I can play any position. But my main focus is being a pitcher. With the all-star team I played with, I played outfielder and pitcher.
What kind of things have you done to improve your game?
I throw the baseball a lot in my backyard. I have this shed that I throw to. I hit it in a certain spot. I want my dad to build me a net so it catches the baseballs. That way after I throw the baseballs I can run to them for a workout to get stronger. I do this workout four times a week. I don’t want to wear out my arm you know—the arm needs rest. I work on my slider, two fastballs, and my changeup. I also try to stay active by not playing video games and stuff. I watch Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. They motivate me to keep working hard.
What obstacles have you faced that you’ve overcome?
When I first started playing baseball, kids would look at me in a funny way. They would say hurtful things as I joined the pitcher’s group practice. It just made me want to work harder to prove to them I could play. I would get a lot of headaches along with runny noses. I developed a lot of allergies. Because I was so far behind, it was a struggle catching up to all the other kids—I had to work three times as hard. Probably the biggest obstacle was not being allowed to play baseball. I told my parents that I wanted to play so bad. If I get hit by the baseball, I’ll take that fall … just like any other kid would—I’m no different.
What has been the highlight of your baseball career so far?
In June I hit my first homerun playing a team from British Columbia. It was such an amazing feeling.
What’s your favorite subject in school and what are you grades like?
Math is my favorite, and I get As and Bs.
What is your goal for the future?
I would love to play baseball for the Oregon State Beavers. And then I would love to pitch for the New York Yankees some day.