NEWTON, Kansas – It takes a special kind of person to have a day in your hometown dedicated to you.
On Joseph Bisterfeldt day in Newton, the 15-year-old proved he is no ordinary kid.
“I’m an overcomer,” Joseph Bisterfeldt said. “I’m willing to take on a challenge.”
And there’s nothing he loves more than stepping into the batter’s box.
“It gives me something to do to feel like everyone else,” he said.
Last year, Bisterfeldt was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
He went through weeks of treatment, and still feels the effects of cancer every day.
“He sees black spots, has problems with his movement and coordination, but he’s a fighter and brings strength to all the people he’s around, and an overcomer,” Bobby Bisterfeldt, Joseph’s father, said.
As a new season of Babe Ruth baseball started, Newton police lieutenant and coach Scott Powell, and others had an idea: have Joe play all 9 positions in a game.
His teammates and the community rallied behind him.
“One thing led to another, and it just ballooned from there into this great event,” Scott Seirer, president of the Newton Babe Ruth league, said. “We’re going to raise money for cancer research and a scholarship for Joe.”
Joe started behind the plate, went to the outfield, back to the infield and the pitcher’s mound.
Then he stepped up to the plate and laced a base hit to thunderous cheers.
“It’s great,” Joseph said. “To see this is great and awesome.”