Baseball brought Sam Wibbels to Lexington and may have saved his life

Baseball may have brought Freshman Pitcher Sam Wibbels to Lexington. It also may have saved his life.


LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – Baseball may have brought Freshman Pitcher Sam Wibbels to Lexington. It also may have saved his life. Wibbels was a star pitcher at Hastings High School in Nebraska was rated the best baseball player to come out of that state in 2019.

After moving to Lexington in August, Wibbels notice his fingers in his pitching hand were purple, following a pitching session. He and his family didn’t think it was too serious until it happened again three days later.

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After several test, doctors discover that Wibbels had a rare condition called Fibromuscular Dysplasia. The condition cause arteries near his collar bone to be twisted and deformed. It’s a condition that Wibbels has apparently lived with his whole life. Had it not been for pitching, it could have gone unchecked and led to a potential stroke.

Doctors were able to perform successful surgery. Wibbels injury though meant that UK couldn’t have him on their fall roster, but they still made sure that Wibbels felt a part of the team through post cards in the mail and social media.

“People in Nebraska and people in Kentucky are very similar. They were always checking in on me,” said Wibbels. “It’s not until you have a situation like that, that you realize that people really care about you.”

Sam made the drive back to Lexington last week for spring semester. He won’t be able to take the mount this season for the cats, but the expectation is that he’ll be ready to go for the 2021 season.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.