In a perfect world Levi Moon would be spending his summer in the Western Major Baseball League.
But elbow surgery prevented that from happening.
“I had elbow surgery last September for nerve damage and some ligament damage,” explained the 20-year-old Red Deer native, who is attending Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, N.Y.
“Because of the surgery I missed all of last season at Niagara and wasn’t expected back until later this summer.”
But Moon’s recovery was quicker than expected and he hoped to return to Moose Jaw, where he played last summer in the WMBL.
“But by the time I knew I could return they had their roster filled,” he said.
“I contacted a few other teams, but it was the same situation.”
So he returned home to Red Deer where he planned on playing with the Innisfail Merchants junior AAA team. He also contacted the Red Deer Riggers’ manager Jason Chatwood about attending practice.
Last week he talked with Chatwood about taking some batting practice prior to the Riggers game with St. Albert. By game time he had a uniform and even saw some action at first base late in the game.
“It worked out great,” he said. “I just wanted to get some swings and practice time in and it ended up I was on the team. It’s a great team with good guys to be with. It’s going to help my development”
Moon grew up playing baseball and hockey, but by the time he was 14 he switched full time to baseball.
“I left to attend the Badlands Baseball Academy in Oyen and decided to concentrate on baseball.”
The Badlands Academy had their own indoor facility, which was perfect for the development of younger players.
“It was great in that you could take infield all year and they had a batting cage. It helped develop my game a lot.”
He spent the summer back in Red Deer playing with the Carstar Braves midget AAA team and by the time he was finished school he was prepared to move to the States.
Niagara is one of the best junior college programs in the States.
During his first season in New York, Moon batted over .300 while playing some third and first base and catching.
“I mainly played first base because of my arm, but I had a good year at the plate with a lot of RBIs. It’s too bad I missed this last season because we had a good team, finishing third in the country. The only real weakness was at first base and a third-fourth place hitter. But we had a lot of first-year guys so we should have a good team next year as well.”
Because of his surgery Moon can return next season and then will look to join a four-year program.
“Hopefully it works out. I’ll talk with several NCAA schools in both the first and second division.”
Moon enjoyed his WMBL season with Moose Jaw, although he didn’t play as much as he would have liked.
“I didn’t play that much, but it was also the start of my arm issues,” he said. “But I did come back after the WMBL season was over and played with the Merchants in the Western championships.”
Moon played with and against the majority of the players on the Merchants and is also friends with several members of the Riggers.
“I played with Nathan (Damiani) and Joel (Mazurkewich) and Drew (Boyer) coached me in midget. I didn’t know the Chatwoods and some of the other guys, but saw them play and know them that way.”
While Moon would like to practice and play a bit more than he will this summer, it may be a blessing in disguise.
“It may be … it gives my arm that much more time to be healthy. I was ahead of schedule with it, and it feels good, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure it’s completely healthy by the time I return to Niagara.”
As for next season Moon can only hope to be in the WMBL.
“I hope to get a chance to play there again, but we’ll see.”