Luke Denson became the youngest player ever to sign with Middle Tennessee’s baseball team when he inked a national letter of intent during a press conference at the Kennon Hall of Fame Building Nov. 6.
Denson, a 9-year-old who attends Erma Siegel Elementary, was well received by his new Blue Raider teammates who, along with coaches, attended the press conference. Athletic department employees were also on hand for the special event.
You can watch a video from the signing below.
After signing his letter of intent, Denson was in the spotlight as head baseball coach Jim McGuire and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro presented him with a Blue Raider jersey and a MT baseball cap.
Denson beamed as he proudly stood between Massaro and McGuire, soaking in the moment as photographers captured the moment amidst a rousing ovation.
The youngster appeared as excited as any high school player on National Signing Day, and with good reason.
Denson was united with Middle Tennessee baseball through Team Impact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization. He lives with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, skeletal abnormalities and short stature.
“He is a motivation to me,” said Blue Raider senior Jake Ingold. “We are all excited to have Luke with our team. He is a Blue Raider.”
McGuire said Team Impact contacted him about Denson’s interests.
“Luke lives here, and Team Impact contacted me about him, and everyone here was excited to get on board,” McGuire said.
“Luke will be at our practices and games and other events. He will be around the team a lot, and it really is a win-win situation for all of us. Luke is an inspiration to us.”
Denson is an official member of the Blue Raiders from his signing day through graduation. He will attend practices, games and social events while forming relationships with the student-athletes and coaching staff.
Luke’s mother, Honey, said the pairing with Middle Tennessee baseball has been a blessing for the family.
“I believe this is something that benefits all of us,” Honey Denson said.
“This can help Luke gain self-confidence, just being accepted. He loves it, and the (players) have received him well. He really likes the team.”
Players chatted with young Luke Denson during a post-press conference pizza party, already treating him as one of the team, sitting around and sharing stories. That was until Denson realized another side of athletics – the media.
Media members were lined up to talk to the Blue Raiders’ newest member, and he obliged, honoring all media requests by donning his Blue Raider gear.
You can read more about Denson here.
— MTSU Athletics (goblueraiders.com)