Bradley Suttle Biography
Claim to Fame: Minor league second baseman (Trenton Thunder)
DOB: January 24, 1986
Diabetes Type: 1
Born in Boerne, Texas, Suttle began playing baseball at the high school level, wowing coaches with his switch-hitting ability. Upon graduating, he attended the University of Texas, where he was named All-American and Academic All-American. His talent as an athlete, especially as a hitter, attracted the attention of the New York Yankee’s minor league team. He was picked in the 4th round of the 2007 draft and was regarded by many to be the best college hitter that year.
Suttle’s raw talent is undisputed, but, when first batting for the Yankee’s, his swing required fine-tuning. Suttle began working tirelessly to harness his power and, at the same time, concentrate its direction, allowing for greater accuracy. As a baseman playing for the South Atlantic League’s Charleston River Dogs, Suttle was considered the best defensive third baseman and put to rest any doubts or questions about his capability as a field player.
In 2008, Suttle’s career hit a snag when he was forced to have labrum surgery to fix a tear in the shoulder. The injury and recovery kept Suttle from playing in the 2009 season. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, the ball player had a greater risk of developing post-surgery infection and complications. However, being an athlete, Suttle was in tune with his body and aware of the dangers of having diabetes and undergoing surgery. Eager to return to the field, Suttle worked to keep both his diabetes and his shoulder healthy. In 2010, he was healthy enough to play and resumed his career in Tampa, Florida, playing for the Tampa Yankees.
Prior to his injury, Suttle was one of the Yankee’s top 10 best prospective players and was on track to be called up to the major leagues. However, with such a long recovery, the player remained in the minor league to make sure he was fully healed. Early in 2011, Suttle moved from the Tampa Yankees to the Trenton Thunder, an affiliate of the New York Yankees.
As an athlete with diabetes, Suttle is always planning for the future and making sure that the variables he can control in his overall health – checking blood sugars, A1C levels, keytones, diet, etc. – are maintained so that, should another injury develop, the risks are greatly reduced. In a 2011 interview with BaseLines, a weekly blog that features stories about the Trenton Thunder, Suttle recounts his injury, the slow process of rebuilding his confidence and career, and his plan for the 2011 season with the Thunder, stating, “It was a case of staying healthy and taking care of myself. Staying healthy is the number-one goal for this season.’’ One way Suttle stays healthy is through insulin pump therapy, allowing him more flexibility with his diabetes care.
In spite of injury and illness, Suttle has endured. Not one to be easily broken or browbeaten, the athlete has proven he has what is necessary for a fruitful career in baseball and a long, healthy life with diabetes.
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