Ryan Westmoreland celebrates 11th anniversary of brain surgery in heartwarming fashion

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Jacob Camenker
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Westmoreland celebrates anniversary of brain surgery in heartwarming fashion originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Eleven years to the day after he survived the brain surgery that nearly ended his life, former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland found a much happier way to give March 17 meaning.

Westmoreland announced on social media that he and his wife Libby had celebrated the birth of their daughter, Adeline Grace.

"March 17 was always a day that I remembered as the day after I made it through emergency brain surgery and I realized I was going to live," Westmoreland wrote. "Now, March 17 has new meaning. Welcome to the world my little angel."

Westmoreland, 31, was stricken by a cavernous malformation in his brain during spring training in 2010. He had just been named the No. 21 overall prospect in baseball, and the Red Sox envisioned the five-tool Rhode Island native patrolling center field in Fenway Park for more than a decade.

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The surgery, performed on his brainstem, impacted his sight and motor functions, however, and he was forced to halt a comeback attempt two years later and undergo a follow-up surgery. He officially announced his retirement in 2013.

Red Sox executives called him "the left-handed Mike Trout" after his career ended. They had signed him for $2 million in the 2008 draft, one year before the Angels selected Trout in the first round.

In his lone season of professional baseball, in 2009, Westmoreland hit .296 with 7 homers and 19 steals in 19 chances at short-season Lowell, where his teammates included current Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.

The surgery that ended his career has always qualified as a tragedy, but at least now Westmoreland has a happier memory to associate with March 17 than his first full day in recovery. As he noted in his Twitter post, he's now a, "#girldad."