Holden Sabor is hoping things can turn for the better for him at the same place where they began to unravel on him.
Sabor is coming back from suffering torn ligaments in his right ankle during a Show-Me Collegiate League game a year ago. He’s back in the Show-Me League this summer while playing for the Route 66 Stars.
His injury occurred while simply trying to beat out a ground ball for a base hit.
“As soon as I hit the bag (at first base) with my right foot, it turned over and tore all my ligaments,” Sabor said. "I got surgery three days later and have been on the road to recovery ever since.
"I couldn't walk until halfway through the fall semester (last school year)," he added. "I've basically had to build up the muscles in my leg to be able to play again.”
With his injury happening while doing something he’s done countless times over the years, Sabor admits he’s dealt with a bit of anxiety while running the bases.
“The hardest part has been the mental block,” he said. “I wear an ankle brace. But it's always in the back of my mind. Game by game, you push it a little harder and you get past those mental blocks. At some point, it will be out of my head.”
Sabor, who was an All-COC and All-State shortstop for Ozark his senior year, has received all the confirmation he needed that he’s made the right decision to play again.
“It's been great to be out here and prove that I can still play, field and move around like I used to be able to,” he said. “I couldn't go without baseball. Being on the baseball field is a feeling in itself. I love the feeling and am glad to be back out here. As long as I'm on the field, I'm happy.”
Sabor’s only playing time at State Fair came during fall ball his freshman year. But, he values his experiences with the Roadrunners.
“I had great dudes in front of me in Brandon Stahlman and Brayden McGinnis,” he said. “Those guys are great players. I got to learn a lot from them about work ethic.”
Sabor is hoping the Show-Me League can help him catch a college coach's eye as he looks for a place to resume his college career.
The 2021 Ozark grad has four years of eligibility remaining, after red-shirting his freshman year at State Fair and leaving the Roadrunners at the end of the fall semester last school year.
“I'm getting my feet under me and exploring my options,” he said. “I'm anxious to see what the next month holds for me.”