Last night, Ben Ancheff took the mound for St. Thomas University of Florida in the deciding game of the 2015 NAIA World Series. In just his sixth start of the season he threw 4-1/3 innings, giving up just one run on two hits with five strikeouts. He left in the fifth inning due to arm soreness, a wise precaution for someone returning to baseball after Tommy John Surgery. Unfortunately, Lewis-Clark State staged a late-inning rally and defeated St. Thomas 10-7.
The loss signaled a pause in Ancheff’s four-stop collegiate career which has also included Georgia, State College of Florida (JUCO), and Central Arkansas. Ancheff was already throwing in the 90s and batting .420 in high school up in Pennsylvania, where he was also an All-State Defensive Lineman, three-time state wrestling qualifier, and could bench press 350 and squat 595.
None of this is why Ben Ancheff became an instant internet sensation last night.
Ben Ancheff is officially listed on the St. Thomas Athletics website as 6’2″ and 300 pounds.
To put this in perspective:
Safe to say that if you put all of them in the same place at the same time (set your camera to panoramic view), Broxton would be the tallest, but Ancheff would be the biggest.
All kidding aside, Ben Ancheff is a talented athlete with a will to win, who also has a lifetime of luck on his side.
Ancheff was born premature, with underdeveloped heart and lungs. Luckily, he grew up close to Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where specialists recommended an experimental treatment known today as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It saved his life.
In Ben Ancheff’s case, it is best to be good – AND lucky.