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Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton visits Valley hospital

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton meets with Howard Gwynn of Yuma, Ariz. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Patients at the Barrow's Neurological Rehabilitation Center at St. Joseph's Hospital will have a good memory from Wednesday after a special visitor stopped by.

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton dropped in to sign autographs and visit with the patients.

Howard Gwynn is a rodeo worker from Yuma who sustained broken vertebrae and a bruised spine when his horse bucked him off. He said. his doctors tell him he faces one and a half years of rehab, but should make an "almost" complete recovery.

Howard Gwynn was glad Eaton stopped by.

"I enjoyed talking to him for sure," he said. "But I am way more fortunate than a lot of people who are here. For those people in particular, I think it's a very good thing that they do this."

Gwynn is a rodeo worker from Yuma, Ariz., who sustained broken vertebrae and a bruised spine when his horse bucked him off. He said his doctors told him he faces one-and-a-half years of rehab, but should make an "almost" complete recovery.

Eaton is on the injured list with a strained UCL. After meeting with these patients, he said his problems seem petty.

"Every day that they get to walk, or step off on a box, it's amazing," he said. "We're here worrying about money, or what may happen tomorrow and these people can't even walk. It's something special to come in here. I think that they're doing more for me than I am for them, for sure."

Eaton said he hopes to visit with these patients again. Next time, he hopes they're visiting him at Chase Field, and that they're fully recovered and enjoying a Diamondbacks game.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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