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Breeze back pitching in the
By Kim Breeze
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–A year after missing the state teenage baseball playoffs because of
open-heart surgery, Kemp’s Colton Breeze is heading back to the
playoffs, pitching as a member of the Malakoff Brewers.
Last year, Colton’s baseball team, The Buzz, won the division title,
then went on to win the end-of-season tournament to determine what teams
went to District playoffs.
Colton’s team was runner-up in the District tournament, which meant they
were heading to the state playoffs for Texas Teen Age Baseball (TTAB).
However, Colton would not get to play. He was scheduled for open-heart
surgery July 25, 2007, and the first playoff game was scheduled the
night before his surgery.
The president of TTAB, John Warren, made arrangements for Colton to
throw out the opening pitch of the 2007 tournament.
“It was great that our team made it to State, and I loved being able to
throw the first pitch, but I wish I was playing,” Colton said.
Colton underwent what is called a Ross procedure to correct a defective
aortic valve in his heart. Action movie star and California Gov. Arnold
Schwartzenegger underwent the same procedure a few years ago.
Surgeons removed Colton’s defective aortic valve, and replaced it with
his pulmonary valve.
The aortic valve opens for blood coming out of the heart, and is a
high-pressure valve, while the low-pressure pulmonary valve opens to let
newly oxygenated blood coming back from the lungs into the heart, where
it is pumped back out via the aortic valve to circulate through the
Surgeons replaced Colton’s pulmonary valve with a valve harvested from a
deceased young male organ donor.
The switched pulmonary valve will grow with him, but the valve from the
organ donor will not grow. Colton may face another surgery to replace
that valve with a larger one in his late teens, but that depends on how
he grows to his adult size.
While Colton’s family, friends and teammates were hoping for a repeat
trip to the playoffs, this year Colton’s team did not make it to
District, so there was not a shot at going to State with his team.
However, he was drafted by the Malakoff Brewers as a relief pitcher for
them in the District tournament, which opens Monday, July 14, in
Colton and his parents have put in a lot of hours on the baseball fields
in the dead of winter and the heat of summer to help him develop to this
“As soon as his breastbone healed, he was out pitching,” mom Kim Breeze
His drive and determination have given him the confidence and discipline
to overcome what was a life-threatening situation and prosper. Anything
is possible with the right motivation and lots of love, dad Michael
When Colton was asked to play for the Brewers, his first response was
He loves baseball – thinks it’s the greatest thing ever – and also plans
on playing football this fall.
Monitor Photo/Kim Breeze
Colton Breeze fires a pitch during a recent youth baseball contest, a
undergoing open-heart surgery to correct a defective heart valve.
Leaping into the scorebook
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Athens Elite baserunner Chelsea Pryor of Cross Roads leaps across home
with an inside-the-park home run, as the cutoff throw to Eustace Lady
catcher Catania Grant (12) is too late and short during the first inning
Freshman Girls district tournament in Mabank's George Watts Park Monday.
Saturday Race Day
Don’s Port 10 a.m.