IM this article to a friend!

May 12, 2003

Stephanie Brooks

From: Boston Globe, MA - May 12, 2003

By Evans Erilus, Globe Correspondent, 5/12/2003

On a team that features one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state, Reading senior Stephanie Brooks is the anchor. A member of the 2001 state championship squad, Brooks is 9-0 this season with an 0.25 ERA. The Rockets' hurler, who is deaf, has overwhelmed the opposition to the tune of 96 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitched. Through the use of instant messaging, the Assumption-bound Brooks discussed softball and more in this week's Q & A.


What is the extent of your hearing? It's easier and more accurate to say I'm deaf, and audiologists tell me I have a severe profound hearing loss.. . .

How has being deaf affected your high school experience? It's really impacted it. For classes, I have to wear an FM system, which is basically a mike that the teacher wears so I can hear him or her more clearly, and it's hard to get all the information but my teachers and classmates are great and they help to make sure I get what I need.. . .

Do you think there is such a thing as a stupid question? No, not at all. Everyone has different ideas and views, and any question that makes us know a little more about something can't be a stupid question, can it?


What is the most overlooked aspect of the game? I think that as a pitcher I get a lot of credit for the defense. It is nice, but I think sometimes people don't realize that the defense that backs the pitcher up and makes the plays is what makes a pitcher look so good. I think they should get more credit for what they do.. . .

Do you own any lucky equipment? I have a hard time parting with my gloves. I always play with it until it gets so bad that it's impossible to use. It's a comfort thing, you know? You get used to the way that a certain glove feels. But my lucky thing is I always wear the same black tank top under my uniform when I'm pitching. I'm incredibly superstitious, and I had worn it for a couple games I pitched in and I did really well. Then I didn't wear it one game, and, of course, I didn't do so well.


Do you believe in the concept of athletes as role models? Yes, definitely. I think that anyone who puts himself in the position to succeed at something that is high-profile is a role model, but definitely athletes because we take such a tremendous interest in sports. There are so many kids who play sports and look up to the player who's above and beyond or special in some way.. . .

Name three things you'd like to do in your lifetime. Bungee jumping, because that would be exhilarating and it just looks so awesome.
I'd want to make a waterproof hearing aid because I can't wear hearing aids at the beach. I love being there and I love swimming, but I can't hear in the water or the shower and I know other deaf kids would really benefit from having that.
Finally, I want to travel all over: Bermuda, Italy, Ireland, and Australia, Africa, France . . . I guess everywhere. I think that experiencing other cultures really opens your eyes. It gives you a new perspective and it sounds fun.

©Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.