You might not know who this kid is yet, but if he keeps doing what he’s doing, it probably won’t be long before you do.

His name is Zack Greinke, he’s the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, and, according to, he’s won each of the six games he’s started, struck out 54 batters in 45 innings, only given up two earned runs, and has “a 95 mph heater and a 60 mph curve and everything in between.”

So why am I shining a spotlight on him during Mental Health Month?

Well, also according to, Greinke has achieved all this with “a history of personal hell behind him”:

Three years ago, Greinke gave up baseball. Doctors would determine that he was a victim of depression and a mental illness called social anxiety disorder. It’s the same thing that Ricky Williams, the Dolphins running back, has battled, and it makes being among people and having to interact with them sheer torture.

After taking time off and receiving his diagnosis, Greinke started taking medication and attending counseling and therapy sessions – all of which has helped him get back in the game.

Mike Celizic, the article’s writer, claims baseball has finally given us a hero. Given everything Greinke has been through, the way in which he bowed out to take care of himself, and how he’s now achieving so much, I’m inclined to agree with him. Greinke represents how very possible it is for people who struggle with mental health issues to succeed once they understand they have to pause and take care of themselves first and foremost, seek help, and learn how to properly treat and manage their conditions.

I’m not a fan of baseball, but I’m definitely now a fan of Zack Greinke’s. 🙂