It is a word Michael Amditis is awfully too familiar with.
The redshirt sophomore has become one of the Hurricanes’ leaders in 2019 after overcoming injuries in three straight seasons, but Amditis’ biggest hurdles have been away from the baseball diamond.
While in high school, Amditis lost both his uncle and grandfather due to tragic accidents.
The losses were difficult for the Boca Raton, Florida native to handle. But on the day he was supposed to start college, Amditis’ world turned upside down.
His father, Michael, died on June 26, 2016. He was 57 years old.
“He had a huge impact on my life. He got me into this game and made me love this game for what it is,” Amditis said. “I talk to him and say, ‘This one is for you.’ It helps me a lot.”
And when Amditis touched home plate after hitting his first career home run against No. 4 Florida on Feb. 22, he had one person on his mind.
“I touched my chest and my cross, it is his cross, and I looked up and pointed at him,” Amditis said.
Amditis thinks about his father every day.
He has a clock inked on his left arm that points to 6:26, the date of his father’s death, as well as a tattoo that reads, “Make pops proud.”
“Before the game, during the national anthem, I’ll usually look up at the sky and just know he’s with me,” Amditis said.
His losses have been unimaginable, but they have prepared Amditis for life’s curveballs.
The 2015 First-Team All-Palm Beach County selection missed his senior season at Boca Raton Community High School while recovering from labrum surgery on his right shoulder.
After being picked in the 37th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians, Amditis honored his commitment to the University of Miami.
In 2017, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound catcher started five of the team’s first seven games before breaking a bone in his left leg, which forced him to miss the remainder of his freshman campaign.
Poised to bounce back a year later, injury once again plagued Amditis’ baseball career. He suffered a bone bruise in his right hand and was sidelined for one month.
“With all the things I’ve been through, it shows you there’s more important things in life to worry about,” Amditis said. “A lot of people have it worse than I do.”
And Amditis’ positive mindset has paid dividends.
The co-captain is batting .282 with three home runs and has taken command of the Miami infield.
“As soon as he gets on the field, he means business,” said sophomore first baseman Alex Toral. “You feel his presence when he’s on the field.”
Amditis’ roommate and fellow captain Evan McKendry added, “I’m not surprised he’s doing as well as he is this year. He’s a tough kid and even tougher off the field.”
Although Amditis doesn’t know what the future holds, he has his mind focused on bringing the Hurricanes’ to the College World Series.
“He cares about Miami baseball. That is all he talks to me about,” said assistant coach Norberto Lopez, who trains the hitters and catchers. “He wants to win. He wants to win this program back to where it needs to be.”