After moving to Kamloops from Edmonton, Denver Wynn started playing baseball at the age of eight.
In his last year of high school, he moved to the coast to play for the Langley Blaze of the Premier Baseball League and made the B.C. junior team in 2005, helping lead the province to a silver medal at the nationals.
Denver’s pitching talent was noticed by others and he was invited to try out for Canada’s national junior team.
He made the final cut, which resulted in tours of the United States and the Dominican Republic. Then it was off to Mexico with the national team for the World Cup qualifier.
It doesn’t get much better than this for a young baseball player; actually it did for this up-and-comer – he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2005. I asked Denver what this was like and he replied, “It was an incredible experience; it all happened so fast. One month I was playing in Kamloops, content and unaware of the big world of baseball and the next moment I was on the national junior team and then drafted; it was all a very humbling experience.”
So the dream continued and Denver decided to pursue his baseball adventure, combining it with academics at New Mexico Junior College.
He pitched well but developed arm problems the following spring.
Until now, this young man from the interior of B.C. had been enjoying an exciting rise in the sport, which might eventually take him to the promised land of professional ball but without his golden arm, hopes were dashed.
Not to be deterred from his goal, after a year off, he attended Cisco Junior College in Texas. Cisco is the home of the first Hilton Hotel so perhaps this was a good omen for a young ballplayer wondering if success was still within his reach.
It was not to be. Two surgeries later the arm problem persisted. Frustrated and exasperated what does one do? Wynn comments, “Being away from the game that you love is one of the most challenging things I have ever had to deal with.”
He mentioned to me the unbelievable support he received from his parents. Good thing, for his search to find an answer led nowhere.
He saw several professionals, in his words, “from every corner” but figuratively speaking, no one seemed to be in his corner. He even visited the head surgeon of the Texas Rangers. The whole thing was becoming a mystery but not a fun read at all.
It was back to Kamloops for Denver where he enrolled at Thompson Rivers University.
Fortuitously, he met sports physiotherapist and former Kamloops Sun Devils baseball player, Shane Giorio, who discovered that the problem with his elbow was actually a large muscle imbalance in his shoulder and upper back.
In the fall of 2010, the first time in almost three years, Denver Wynn was once again able to throw a ball without any pain.
He was back on the mound this past spring pitching for the TRU WolfPack in the Canadian College Baseball Conference.
The long road back was complete; in fact, he led the league with a remarkable Earned Run Average (ERA) of 1.50.
Denver is majoring in psychology at university. Smart choice, for this Comeback Kid has learned a lot these past few years about the human psyche. You will meet him at the upcoming GFI playing for the Kamloops Sun Devils.