Concussions and an inner ear disease known as bilateral vestibulopathy have ended the once promising career of San Diego Padres shortstop prospect Drew Cumberland. The Florida native was forced to hang up his cleats at age 22 after battling excruciating headaches and dizziness he had been experiencing since high school became so severe that doctors feared for his future well being had his career continued. Reading the fascinating article below makes it all the more remarkable that Cumberland was a standout on the diamond as a pro, quickly establishing himself as one of the top hitting prospects in the Padres organization. His best season as a pro came in 2010 when he hit a combined .350 with 18 Doubles, 4 Triples, 7 Home Runs, and 21 Stolen Bases in 75 games between the Low-A Lake Elsinore Storm and the Double-A San Antonio Missions. The performance earned him a spot in the 2010 Futures Game. In the story Cumberland talks about hiding the awful effects of the condition for as long as he possibly could, the nightmare of pain he endured on a daily basis during his career, and coming to terms with moving on. It’s a must read article.
UPDATE: Cumberland is going to try to continue his career in 2012 after finding that his condition can be controlled. Best of luck in his comeback!!! You can read the full story: Cumberland has opportunity to resume career — MLB.com