Savannah Bananas player from Trumbull overcomes serious eye injury to fulfill dream

Baseball player Vinny DeRubeis almost lost his dream on an inside pitch in college.

Mark Sudol

May 10, 2023, 9:41 PM

Updated 337 days ago

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A Trumbull native is now living out his dream after overcoming a terrible accident.
Baseball player Vinny DeRubeis almost lost his dream on an inside pitch in college.
"It had fouled off the end of my bat and just kind of skipped right off my bat and hit me square in the eye," said DeRubeis.
DeRubeis was rushed to the hospital where we had reconstructive eye surgery. He lost sight in his left eye, but he didn't let it cloud his dreams.
"As soon as I was released from the hospital, I was told not to do a thing - but I went directly to the batting cage. Called up my hitting coach and said meet me at the batting cage," said DeRubeis.
DeRubeis now plays for the Savannah Bananas - a team that plays a different brand of baseball. The popular traveling minor league team is like the game's version of the Harlem Globetrotters. It's all about the entertainment.
"In the beginning, I was out of my comfort zone with the dancing and all the antics, but I've come to love it and I've honestly been improving my dance moves," said DeRubeis.
Now in his first few months with the Bananas, he's helping fans with hardships one pitch at a time.
"It's one of the most fulfilling feelings I could ever imagine in this life," said DeRubeis.
DeRubeis has had plenty of time to reflect on his journey. He's found a home with his new team.
"If you have a passion for something, if you work at it and you have belief in yourself and you love that enough that you can do it, you know what I mean. And that's kind of the message that I'm starting to try and spread," said DeRubeis.
It's a message that seems to be connecting with everyone.
DeRubeis and the Bananas are playing at Dunkin' Park in Hartford Aug. 14.


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