With a pitching career spanning nearly twenty years and two countries across the globe from each other, Mets pitcher Earl (more recognized as Buddy) Carlyle has had many unique experiences. One of the experiences that Carlyle never thought he would have to face was a long-term health battle, however. In 2009 when Carlyle was pitching for his third season with the Atlanta Braves, he received the life-changing news that he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Despite his diagnosis, Carlyle has continued to play baseball and act as an inspiration for children and adults alike to show that they can continue living with their lives even after they find out they have the disease.
Carlyle made his major league debut in 1999 as a pitcher for the San Diego Padres when he was 22-years-old. Today, as a 37-years-old, Carlyle has played on seven major league teams across the country, and even played for Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League for two different seasons; the first in 2000, and he later returned for one season in 2010. Carlyle signed a major league contract with the Mets in 2014, as he ended the season 1-1 and with a 1.45 ERA in 27 games. For the 2015 season, Carlyle signed as a free agent with the Mets for one year.
Following his diagnosis, Carlyle has dedicated his career to help show children and adults that also have diabetes that their life can continue. Throughout his career, Carlyle has spoken numerous times about being a professional athlete with diabetes to act as a direct example of someone living their life to the fullest with the disease. Carlyle often works closely with the American Diabetes Foundation as well to meet with kids who have been diagnosed with diabetes. By meeting with these children, it gives them a chance to find a role model that can relate to them and show them that their life does not end after their diagnosis.
Carlyle is among several professional athletes who have the disease as well, including Buffalo Bills Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Hollins, and NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. All three of these athletes have helped to spread knowledge and awareness of the disease among children and parents alike. One of their goals in spreading awareness is showing diagnosed children that they do not have to be ashamed of having diabetes, and that they should not be afraid or embarrassed to tell others. By generating more conversations about the disease it can help inform more people about what those diagnosed with diabetes have to go through on a daily basis, as well as increase funding to help fight the disease.
Through Carlyle’s dedication to helping children and adults with diabetes, he is acting as a positive role model and showing that life does not end with a diagnosis. Carlyle’s commitment to spreading awareness is very important since it may inspire a diagnosed child today to continue playing sports and in a few more years down the road that child may become the next baseball sensation across the nation.