Demopolis alum overcomes Tommy John, signs with LBW

After a season away from the game while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Demopolis alum Devin Stroud has signed to play baseball at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.

After a season away from the game while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Demopolis alum Devin Stroud has signed to play baseball at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.

It has been some 16 months since Devin Stroud last took the field for a meaningful game. His senior season ended with disappointment as the Demopolis Tiger baseball team left the field after an early playoff exit.

What followed for Stroud was Tommy John surgery; a surgical procedure in which a healthy tendon extracted from an arm is used to replace an arm’s torn ligament. The healthy tendon is threaded through holes drilled into the bone above and below the elbow.

“My recovery process was very long and pretty difficult I had my surgery four days after graduation, which was May 28, 2013 and started rehabbing as soon as I could, which was like four days after surgery,” Stroud said of the process of rehabilitating his arm. “I was going to rehab three days a week at UWA with Brad Montgomery and was doing extra work three times a day, every single day because playing college ball has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and there was no doubt in my mind I could do it. And when I came back from surgery, I wanted to be the best I possibly could be, so I worked day in and day out for it.”

After nearly a year of rehab, Stroud got proactive in his quest to play college ball. He reached out to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator Brandon Ware and asked for a tryout.

“I got in contact with Coach Ware and told him I have had Tommy John surgery and I’m now released to play again,” Stroud said. “(I asked) is there anyway I could come down and showcase my talent.”

Ware proved amenable to Stroud’s request and the Demopolis alum got his chance to throw a bullpen session on May 8.

“I stayed low in the zone, had good velocity, and was hitting my spots,” Stroud said of the session. “After my pen he said, ‘Let’s go to my office and talk.’ So right then I had a good feeling I was going to get offered.”

During the course of that conversation, Ware extended Stroud a scholarship offer.

“I signed that day at the field,” Stroud said. “I was so excited. Finally, all my hard work had paid off. The best part was calling my mom and telling her because she is by far my number one fan.”

With Tommy John surgery firmly behind him, Stroud now turns his attention to helping LBW realize its goals for the upcoming season while he proceeds to chase the next milestone in his baseball life.

“My goals for the upcoming season are to be a leader for the team and keep us motivated and focused on our goal and to get a starting role on the mound,” Stroud said. “As far as what lies beyond these two years, I have no idea. But baseball is my love and I plan on furthering my career at a D1 school in the future. I want to thank God for blessing me so much and allowing me to have this chance. And, also, I want to thank my friends and family for all the support and believing in me.”