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Published July 29, 2013, 10:29 PM

Local talented athlete has some unique challenges

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV)-- Last night we featured the Hawley baseball team advancing to state on a walk-off balk, but you may not have noticed is the young man who scored the game-winning run.

By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV)-- Last night we featured the Hawley baseball team advancing to state on a walk-off balk, but you may not have noticed is the young man who scored the game-winning run.

Parker Hanson-Harden just wrapped up his sophomore year, but he's been one of the top players on a Hawley legion team that's heading to state this week.

Chad Clute- Hawley Shortstop: "He's a great ball player. He works his tail off."

Tim Peterson- Hawley Coach: "He hits line drives. He got himself a home run last week in the sub district tournament. He pitches. He fields his position."

Parker Hanson-Harden- Hawley 1st Baseball: "I go out there with confidence and let the bat hit the ball when I play and good things happen."

Parker's talent isn't a surprise, until you see how truly talented he is.

He was born without a left hand, and for a sports enthusiast like himself,

it's made for some unique challenges.

Parker: "Taking the glove off sometimes I'll lose the ball in there and not get good grip on it trying to take it out of the glove, but I've been doing it my whole life. So, it's pretty easy."

Parker's success story doesn't end in the field. He also hits third in the Hawley lineup and is hitting over .400, all while leaving a piece of himself on the field after every hit.

Parker: "My prosthetic hangs onto the bat. It clips on there. I just have to pull my whole arm off when I swing. It's custom made to fit my arm. So, when I swing it's like a suction."

Peterson: "He got a single and the bat and the prosthetic came off and the catcher looked and the fans looked and thought, "what just happened here". Well, that's just the way he is."

Parker: "Once this year actually the prosthetic attachment actually broke in half on my swing, so, that kind of left me short-handed there."

It's clear to everyone around him, that to Parker it's not a disability,

it's just who he is.

Peterson: "There are no limits for him. He just comes out and competes. He's just one of the guys."

And this weekend, Parker, just like every other player, will be trying to help his team win a state title.

Hawley opens the state tournament against La Crescent at 3:30 on Friday in Bird Island.

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