GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Voyagers utility man Michael Deeb has been battle-tested through injuries and jumping around in the minor and independent leagues. Despite all the trials, including changing sports in college, Deeb has remained relentless in his pursuit of playing as high a level of baseball as he can.
“I was so enthusiastic about coming back into baseball because you get to compete six days a week and my favorite thing about sports and the reason I’m so adamant about staying in sports, is competition,” Deeb explained. “I have a love for competition and for winning and for coming together with a bunch of guys and finding a way to outperform another group of guys.”
Deeb was a linebacker at the University of Notre Dame before being forced to hang it up after a Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injury in his elbow that forced him to reevaluate his future. He turned back to his original love for baseball and found a place to pursue it in college.
In 2018 as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, Deeb transferred to Bethune-Cookman University in his home state of Florida. After a year there, he bounced around the minor and independent leagues, including spending some time with the Voyagers, where he was released in spring of 2019.
From the time he finished college ball all the way to before joining the Voyagers this season, Deeb had taken on a myriad of injuries along his journey, including a sports hernia, an abdominal tear and shoulder issues. Despite the struggle though, his spirits stayed high and his mindset unfazed.
“It’s all perspective. I choose to take the path that yeah physical injuries can choose to mentally set us back during our goals but I really try to pride myself on controlling the things I’m able to,” Deeb said.
Now after years of dedication and a positive mindset, Deeb isn’t voyaging from place to place. He’s in Great Falls as a member of the Voyagers trying to get better and achieve his dream of playing at the highest level.
“Here or the next stop or wherever it is, if you keep doing the right things and you work hard and outwork the people you’re around, you can create a future and more opportunities,” he said.
The opportunities culminated on June 12, when Deeb was tasked with ending the game against the Boise Hawks in a home run derby. The rule was introduced in the Pioneer League this season to limit games going too long into extra innings. Deeb took full advantage of it by sending one into deep right for the walk-off.
“The fans loved it, they were fired up. I mean they were rowdy on both sides because I mean it’s fun to sit around and watch guys hit it as far as they can,” he said.
In addition to achieving his own goals on the diamond, Deeb also serves as the emotional leader for the other ball players on the team where standout performers like Dom Abbadessa and Kyle Crowl have been able to look to him for veteran leadership.
Currently, Deeb is batting .266 and has 28 RBIs.