Disabled second baseman hopes to hit another homer

Mar 18 2015

As Denver fans of the Colorado Rockies will surely testify, there are few purely American passions that run deeper than the one for baseball. But even baseball fans might be taken aback by a recent headline: “It’s easier to win a World Series than get Social Security disability.”

That’s the conclusion of a TV station that reported on the long and winding saga of World Series hero Brian Doyle. Long-time fans of the sport might recall Doyle as the light-hitting New York Yankees second baseman who helped the Bronx Bombers take the 1978 fall classic.

Uncharacteristically, Doyle tore through Los Angeles Dodgers pitching at a .438 clip during the Series.

He retired from the sport three years later with an anemic career average of .161, with a single home run to his credit. Today he is remembered as a plucky second baseman who only hit when it mattered most.

After retirement, Doyle became a coach. However, he was sidelined by a battle with leukemia in the 1990s. Afterwards, he began to suffer from pain in his bones and joints. Despite two neck fusions, the pain increased to the point where he could no longer work.

Two years ago, he applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but was turned down. Twice.

He was then hit with another serious ailment: Parkinson’s disease. Now the 61-year-old ordained minister is no longer content to wait to hear if his disability claim will be approved by Social Security. He has retained an attorney and is pressing for a decision for needed benefits, the TV station reports.

Right now, his wife is working full-time and friends are helping the couple pay their mortgage. Brian Doyle is hoping that together with his attorney, he can hit another home run and be approved for disability benefits.