Meet Dave Dravecky

A Remarkable Moment in Baseball

Dave Dravecky became a pitcher for San Francisco in 1987. However, after only one season with the Giants, he was sidelined by chronic pain in his left arm. To his horror, doctors located a malignant growth in his pitching arm. They were sure that his career was over. Miraculously though, after a successful operation, Dravecky returned the following season to pitch against the Reds. His 4-3 defeat of the Cincinnati Reds on August 10, 1989 is still remembered as one of the most awe-inspiring moments in baseball.
But Dravecky’s comeback was curtailed. One week later, in his second game back, Dave’s arm shattered while pitching to a batter for the Montreal Expos. He still has a vivid memory of the event: “Just when my control began to slip in the sixth inning, an all-star batter stepped up to the plate. I got the signal for a sinking fastball, started my windup and--CRACK--when I released the ball, even the fans heard the bone in my arm snap. I lurched forward and immediately crumpled to the ground writhing with pain.” Dravecky’s doctors believed briefly that Dave’s arm might heal and pave the way for another comeback. Tragically though, two years and three operations later, his shoulder and pitching arm had to be removed to save his life.

What Are You Doing, God?
Dravecky remembers how he felt after the amputation. “All control over my future, my security, my identity--everything--felt like it had been surgically removed along with my pitching arm. Yet in the midst of it all, a remarkable thing happened. God gave me hope in my brokenness and planted a seed that has changed my life.” Dravecky’s struggle injected new strength into his relationships with God and his wife, Jan. Through the national media coverage of his battle with cancer, Dave was given the opportunity to share the hope of Christ with millions of people.
Dave and Jan began using their story of hope to encourage other cancer patients and amputees. Their efforts were so well received that together they established “Outreach of Hope Ministries” and began recruiting others to help in the work. “Outreach of Hope” is an organization designed to, “offer hope and encouragement through Jesus Christ to those suffering from cancer or amputation.” It has encouraged thousands of people.

Dravecky, the Author
Dravecky, who now lives with his family in Colorado Springs, says, “I don’t ever look back with bitterness or regret.” He knows from his own life experience that, “We can rest in the knowledge that for every challenge there is both an answer and the opportunity to live out more fully the great worth God has placed in each of us.” He now devotes the bulk of his time to writing books on Christian living. Comeback chronicles the dramatic story of Dravecky’s battle with cancer. In The Worth of a Man, Dave shares the ways that God used his struggles to teach him lessons about his true worth. In Play Ball, Dave utilizes photos and stories to help the reader relive baseball's greatest moments, and in Do Not Lose Heart, cowritten with wife Jan and Steve Halliday, he has pulled together a collection of thoughts on how to survive a time of suffering.

Updated June 2003.

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