Tyler Lewis has received 15 questionnaires from Major League Baseball teams. They mostly seek basic information about potential draft picks.
One of the questions sticks with Lewis: “What is one non-baseball related thing about you that makes you unique?”
Lewis is a hard-throwing right-hander for West Des Moines Valley. His fastball clocks in at 95 mph, making him one of the state’s top prospects for June’s MLB draft.
So what’s the answer to that question?
Lewis could mention how he’s been raised by his grandmother, aunt and uncle. His uncle taught him to love baseball. Lewis has kept in touch with his mother but it has been other family members that have raised him.
“She’s kind of stayed distant throughout it all,” his grandmother Debra Dalton said.
Or he could say that his father, Gregory Lewis, was stabbed to death when Lewis was 6.
“I just think, ‘Oh, I guess this is something that’s pretty interesting that not every kid goes through,’” Lewis said.
Lewis has only distant memories of his father, Gregory Lewis, who was killed in a fight on Oct. 15, 2006. According to media reports at the time, a fight broke out between Gregory Lewis and his sister Amanda Lewis’ live-in boyfriend, Ryan Mulcahy. Amanda Lewis had told her brother that Mulcahy assaulted her. Gregory Lewis went into his sister’s home to confront Mulcahy. Gregory Lewis, 27 at the time, was stabbed in the neck and in the arm and died. Mulcahy reportedly sustained an injured eye, a broken nose, a deep knife wound to his lower right leg, and multiple wounds to his right arm. Mulcahy’s attorney claimed self-defense and in 2008 a grand jury decided not to indict him for the killing.
Tyler and his father were living with his grandparents at the time. His grandparents were the ones who told Tyler about his father’s death. Tyler was 6 years old at the time.
He has a few memories of his father that remain: fishing, going four-wheeling and riding golf courts and boating together. That’s about it.
It wasn’t until three or four years ago that Tyler learned the details about what had happened the night his father died. His uncle, A.J., worried that Tyler would start hearing people gossip about what had happened about his father. He also could sense that Tyler wanted to know. So A.J. sat him down in Tyler’s bedroom at his grandparent’s house and had a heart to heart with him.
His uncle then explained everything he knew about his father Gregory’s death.
It wasn’t easy for Tyler to hear.
“It was a hard conversation,” Tyler said. “It was a lot … just talking about my dad.
“It’s always hard just to talk about it.”