The Story of Ben Bracewell
UNRL ATHLETE // OAKLAND A's
A brace is a device that strengthens a structure, giving support when weak. Throughout his athletic career, Ben Bracewell’s injuries have weakened him, but have also served as his metaphorical brace.
Entering college unscathed, Ben had surgery after his freshman year to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Rehab forced him to medically redshirt the entire next season. Elbow issues hindered his sophomore stint. A broken foot required surgery after his junior year. Despite being inconvenient, the latter two injuries didn’t keep him off the field. Bracewell made 30 appearances during the two-year period. He posted a 0.93 and 1.76 ERA in respective seasons, including a junior year that ended with a trip to Omaha to play in the College World Series.
Ben was so fond of his experience he had a hard time putting it into words. An estimated 20,000 strong donning maroon and white had packed into TD Ameritrade Park. The bulldogs quickly won their first three games, advancing to the championship series where Bracewell pitched in relief the second game versus UCLA. Mississippi State finished runner up in 2013, losing the final game of the series against the Bruins.
He was voted a captain of the Bulldogs his senior season and put together a complete year while managing to stay healthy. His college career ended on a high note, but disappointment would soon follow. Although teams showed interest, the MLB Draft came and went without Ben Bracewell’s name being mentioned. Their concern had nothing to do with his talent but rather it was his proneness to injury. However, these injuries were what caused his thought process to mature on setbacks. Determined to bounce back, he signed with the River City Rascals a week after the draft. About a month later, he signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics.A competitor in every sense of the word, he sincerely considers it a gift every time he steps on the mound. Ben’s faith has been the anchor enabling him to push through his struggles and keep coming back for more.