What makes you different is what makes you Spider-man was a great ethos for the film Into the Spider-Verse, which created the space to explore how different authors and artists have depicted the superhero throughout the comic universe. Spider-Man has had a different meaning for a wide variety of people, so the beloved character has taken many forms throughout the years. Despite the vast visual contrast from character-to-character, the basis for the person behind the mask remained the inability to run away from what they knew was right; even when they desperately wanted to. With great power comes great responsibility, after all.
The movie worked so well because each of us is similar. We are viewed differently from the perspectives of those who interact with us in our lives. We are spouses, parents, children, friends, colleagues, and perhaps church members among the many faces we wear daily. No matter the current role or depiction though, the basis for who we are remains unchanged.
Carlos Carrasco is such a man. A husband and father to five children, he is a family-man first by all accounts.1 Creator and leader of the Carlos Carrasco Foundation, he is someone who “creates an environment that offers every child a strong foundation for life-long success.” Starting pitcher of the Cleveland Indians has many roles itself. He is a player whom the Tribe had the best record in games he took the hill over the 2017 and 2018 seasons (43-21)2 and proved himself a Top 10 starting pitcher in all of Major League Baseball since 2014.3 He is also a teammate who keeps the clubhouse loose; creating baseball mini-figures, wearing a water-cooler on his head as a faux GoPro, and dressing up as Uncle Sam are all within his realm.
The basis of the man throughout is the joy he shows and gives others. So much so, Carrasco was one of the two Tribesmen in a previous WFNY article, Players of Joy:
The enjoyment of the game demonstrated with a gregarious smile and uncontrollable release of endorphins through a hearty outburst of laughter are emblematic of one whose life is baseball. The Cleveland Indians might have a player who goes by the moniker of Mr. Smile on Player’s Weekend each season, but the smile I most remember was from the no-hitter that almost was. When Carlos Carrasco came a pitch away from baseball immortality before a Joey Butler blooper ended his bid.
You could see that appreciation after Butler’s hit dropped in. Carrasco was all smiles and he motioned to Kipnis for the effort on the play. The teammates all huddled on the mound thank Carrasco for his performance, and he seemed to just be happy that he could provide it for them. As he walked off the field, the visiting fans all stood and cheered loudly for Carrasco who smiled and removed his cap to wave before ducking into the dugout.
Against this backdrop, the news of his cancer struck. Unable to pitch since late May due to lethargy caused by some type of blood condition, Carrasco revealed over the holiday weekend he has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.4
There are reasons to give thanks. It was reported his “blood condition” was caught due to extra precautions being taken given the heart surgery he had in 2014. This type of leukemia is also known to be the most treatable form and early indications are the doctors have it under control. There are even some indications he might pitch again in 2019; though that result should not be considered a priority.
Indians fans have rallied behind a player with a cancer-scare in the recent past similar to how they now pray for Carrasco. It was just 2015 when Mike Aviles four-year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia of her own. Adriana battled her dragons and came out victorious as she celebrated her eighth birthday and hit four years since her initial diagnosis in May.
Expectations shape perception. It would be reasonable to expect a professional athlete would not have had heart surgery, cancer, and spent time on the injury list multiple times due to line drives hitting him by the age of 32. It would be reasonable to expect such unfortunate events to cause that person to have a negative outlook on life. However, Carrasco has shown it is not what happens to you but the response that matters. Whether it is laughing when a no-hitter escapes him by mere inches or in fighting back from health issues, he has always shown grace. What makes him different is what makes him Carlos Carrasco.
There is a ton of good baseball content being written about the Indians. WFNY will look to highlight some of the best stuff here each week. However, the list is taking a brief break this week to call to action ways to show Carrasco our appreciation for all the joy he has given us.
Carlos Carrasco Foundation for giving
Perhaps a donation of $59 or even $5.90 to his foundation will show we are all thinking of him.
Closing with some Carrasco pitching tunnels to enjoy, while he fights the cancer off.
Ball is just about there and still in the same tunnel. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/8verApQROa
— Sizors (@Sizors1210) June 12, 2018