JUPITER, Fla. — Experiencing a helplessness more paralyzing than anything he had ever felt on a pitching mound, Aaron Brooks’ only recourse for the pain he felt on Sept. 21, 2020, was to sprawl his 6-foot-1 body across his 2-year-old son’s bed half a world away in Gwangju, South Korea.
That was the day when young Westin Brooks, an infant at the time, lost his left eye and suffered various fractures after a pickup truck ran a stop sign and barreled into the side of the family’s GMC Yukon near Washington County, Kan.
At that time, Brooks was pitching for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. The now-31-year-old received a frantic call from his wife Whitney at about 7 a.m. in South Korea, telling him about the accident and informing him that Westin was being airlifted to a hospital in Kansas City. Brooks couldn’t board a 15-hour flight back to the U.S. until roughly 11 hours later, so all he could think to do was to retreat to his son’s bedroom and pray.