Sports

Former HS Phenom Jon Peters Finds A New Identity After His Baseball Dreams Strike Out

The former star for Brenham High School set a national record for 53-straight wins but hit rock bottom after arm injuries ended his career early. He tells his story in a new memoir.

Jon Peters - Super Kid

Jon Peters was a long way from his glory days as a high school pitching phenom in the early morning hours of March 27, 2010. He was sitting alone at 2:30 a.m., newly divorced, and drinking vodka to dull the pain of a life that hadn’t worked out anything like it was supposed to. He was supposed to have been in the big leagues.

Jon Peters - Sports Illustrated CoverIn high school, Peters was a record-setting pitcher in Brenham, Texas. By his senior year in 1989, he’d who won a national record 53-straight games and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Believers in the Sports Illustrated jinx will find it noteworthy that he lost his next game. But he still went 54-1 on the season, leading his team back to the state baseball tournament.

After high school, while on a full ride to play baseball for Texas A&M, a series of arm injuries and subsequent surgeries ended his baseball career completely – without ever playing a game for the Aggies.

So, instead of competing for glory on the mound, Jon Peters, sat alone drinking in the wee hours of the morning. He wanted to die.

“But I heard a voice that said, ‘Just tell somebody,’” he said.

Jon Peters - Book CoverSo he picked up the phone, called his boss, and reached out for help. Now, eight years later to the day, he’s releasing a book about his experiences called When Life Grabs You by the Baseballs: Finding Happiness in Life’s Changeups.

He tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen about how he dealt with the pressures of his record-setting winning streak and how he found a new identity after he was no longer a baseball star.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He...

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