Share this story

Testicular cancer, what? Pirates pitcher battles back from surgery to spearhead team’s win

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon

It takes guts, lots of it, and tons of bravery to remain competitive in baseball.

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon is showing everyone those traits won’t deter him from doing his job on the mound.

Last May, Taillon underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

You thought, it’s all over for him?


Just five week later, he is back, fit and ready and more importantly, keyed his team’s win in the Major League.

The 25-year-old was in his first star back in the majors when he faced the Colorado Rockies.

He yielded five hits and two walks over five scoreless innings, and struck out five to earn a 7-2 victory.

Taillon was pulled out after just 82 pitches but in his final rehab start, he threw 97 pitches and was presumed to have gone longer.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he did not want his pitcher to exert further effort in his first return game as he went to the bullpen with the squad up 4-0.

But no matter how Taillon performed, he was praised for shutting down the Rockies, the team owning the best record in National League over five innings.

It was not the first time a player had the same case as Taillon.

Last fall, Rockies pitcher Chad Betis was also diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is now making his way back to the league.

To show his support, Taillon was in contact with Betis when he was diagnosed. The latter was one of the people who urged Taillon to return to the mound after his own surgery.

Just the same, Taillon could not have made a remarkable comeback without his team’s full backing, and among others, the Rockies themselves.

Before their game, the Rockies tweeted a support to Taillon, saying it was awesome to see him back on the field.

Taillon is aiming to stamp his class in his first full season as starter.

Even his five-week absence due to surgery is not a worry to be a hindrance.

After his start against the Rockies, Taillon has a 2.90 ERA over seven starts. He has fanned out 35 batters in 40 1/3 innings.

From the beginning, he vowed to rise back. Shortly after being told he has cancer, he vowed on Twitter to “use every setback as an opportunity for growth.’’

Taillon’s determination in the face of adversity should be emulated by not just baseball players, but everyone who fight to live, and excel.