LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Tonight, the Las Vegas Aviators start their second season at the Las Vegas Ballpark, playing their first game in nearly two years because of the pandemic.
While the whole city is excited for baseball to be back, 13 Action News is keeping a close eye on a player on the visiting Sacramento River Cats.
You may remember the name Drew Robinson. 13 Action News chronicled the story of this ballplayer who was born and raised in Las Vegas and made it all the way to major leagues but struggled with mental health to the point where he tried to commit suicide a little over a year ago.
RELATED: Minor League Baseball player Drew Robinson determined to live after suicide attempt
Robinson somehow survived a gunshot to the head. While he was bleeding out, he decided he actually wanted to live and only lost an eye in the process.
Ever since then, he's been working on improving his mental health and he has re-dedicated his life to the game of baseball and trying to make a comeback to the big leagues.
He spent the last year training and just found out that he made the opening day roster for the River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
"It means, I won’t say everything, but just below everything. And I say that because I’ve learned there are a lot more important things than baseball in life, but at the same time, this is pretty much where every ounce of my energy has gone since July when I started training for this," Robinson told 13 Action News over Zoom.
RELATED: Baseball fans return to Las Vegas Ballpark for Aviators home opener
"To be able to actually say it after going through different times of doubting myself again, and having some times of thinking it’s not possible just because of the one eye situation, to finally be able to say it’s happening and I’m going to be able to play professional baseball again, it’s just powerful," he said.
"There’s no other word to describe everything that’s happened to me over the last year," added Robinson. "I feel like I’m living a movie and it’s just powerful, it’s special, it’s meaningful, it’s all those powerful emotions, all the above."
Robinson says he's expecting a good amount of his family and friends to be in the stands for his hometown return.
"Being able to play baseball again, and add on top I get to play at baseball in front of everyone that’s been a part of this, that's supported me, that’s helped me. It’s just special, man."
"I’m trying to stay present at the time, that’s something I’ve been working on, but it’s really hard not to look forward to those games and whenever I do get to play. I don’t know yet exactly, but whenever I do get to play, it’s going to be special," he said.
RELATED: Recognizing the signs of a possible suicide attempt and how to help
"Having my family there, my friends, even some of the doctors that put me back together, the doctors that helped me on a weekly basis from a mental aspect," he said. "Having all them there and they’re just going to be able to enjoy the moment and just share that experience... it’s just meaningful and it’s powerful and it's special."
Robinson's River Cats open their season tonight in Las Vegas against the Aviators.
Robinson is starting in right field and batting eighth. Tune in for 13 Action News Live at 11 p.m. to find out how his night went.