PlayStation Develops Character Modeled After Hans Smith, an Avid Player With Cerebral Palsy

The 2010 version of 'MLB: The Show' featuring Smith hit stores earlier this month, and as the No. 1 baseball video game franchise, is likely to place Smith's character in the living rooms of many other loyal fans.

The game allows anyone playing to select a player -- from a group that includes every player on a Major League Baseball roster -- and work up from the Minor Leagues to the Major Leagues, accomplishing tasks along the way.

Another mode of the game allows you to play your favorite position on a Major League team of your choice. In this part of the game, Smith's character is a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, his favorite team.

"If someone had asked me if I'd be a ballplayer, I'd say no way, but this game has been a miracle worker," said Smith. "This game has allowed me to experience a part of my life that otherwise I would not be able to experience."

Hans Smith Overcomes Cerebral Palsy, Goes to College

When Smith isn't playing video games, he's a busy junior at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexberg.

Majoring in communications with an emphasis on broadcasting and public relations, Smith said he might be "dreaming big," but he wants to be a baseball commentator one day.

Smith can't feed himself and requires help to do such everyday things as shower, but despite the challenges, he said he maintains a pretty normal life for a college student.

"I live in a dorm. My family is 1,500 miles away in Illinois, and I'm taking 13 credits," he said. "I go on dates and have a paper due this week.

"I call myself a very independent dependent person," he said. "I may have to have help doing a lot of things, but I'm not shy, and I ask people for help when I need it."

Smith credits his strong belief in God for giving him the strength that he said has helped him remain optimistic about life.

"I believe God has given me a lot of the strengths and talents that I can use in a positive way," he said. "So yes, there have been moments where I wished I could go out on the field and play catch, but I've lived a very happy life."

He hopes other young adults like him learn from his experience with PlayStation.

"This whole story just goes to show the power of gratitude," he said. "All I did was say thank you.

"It just goes to show that within reason, and I know I won't be able to be an astronaut because I don't have the physical ability, but within reason, but you can find other ways to do the things you want."

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