Luxon Glor’s smile is infectious.
While discussing his journey in life and sport, the young man on the other side of the Zoom conversation exudes an air of positivity and gratitude that is refreshing in what feels like a fractured world.
He’s been through a lot in the course of his 24 years on this planet. He’s been handed every reason to be down in the dumps, disappointed at the hand he’s been dealt.
Yet, here he was in an all-encompassing conversation – still smiling.
“I think I just see everything as a challenge and I just want to strive to be the best and push myself to be the best,” Glor told Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast. “That means whatever challenge is out there, I want to conquer it.”
He emerged from it all as a standout athlete who loves baseball and has become amongst the best collegiate track-and-field stars ever.
FIGHT FOR HIS YOUNG LIFE
Glor was born in a town near Port-au-Prince, Haiti and faced his first challenge at an early age.
He almost starved to death when he was just three-months-old and had to be nursed back to health, recalled his father, Gerald, in a 2015 Winnipeg Free Press story.
Nearly three years later, he was placed into an orphanage, where he and his brother, Elijah, were adopted and brought to Winnipeg by Gerald and Valerie Glor.
“It makes me think about how lucky I am to have had great people adopt me,” Glor said. “Thanks to them, I have a great life.”
THE GREAT WHITE NORTH
It didn’t take long for Glor to get used to his new surroundings and almost immediately he fell in love with the game of baseball.
He remembers playing the sport in the front yard with his brother.
“We had sheets of plywood that my dad put up because he decided he didn’t want us breaking the glass,” Glor laughed. “We used to be referred to as the house where the kids are playing baseball all the time, with friends over all the time, playing tournaments and that kind of thing.”
By 2011, he was representing Team Manitoba at the Western Canada Games.
A couple of years later, a chance encounter helped him take the next step in his baseball journey.
Vauxhall Academy of Baseball head coach and director of operations Les McTavish remembers doing some scouting at a tournament in Winnipeg when he saw Glor for the first time.
“He certainly stood out,” he told Alberta Dugout Stories. “He was extremely athletic, he ran well, he threw well, he pitched at the time, and he was a switch-hitter.”
McTavish saw some big-time potential.
“He needed to improve on his hitting, but you could certainly dream on him,” he continued. “Luxon was the best athlete on the field.”
McTavish spoke with Glor’s parents, while the young athlete confided in a fellow Manitoba product and Vauxhall alum, Ben Onyshko, to get the inside scoop on moving to Alberta.
Before long, his mind was made up, as he joined Nolan Rattai, Jared Kennedy, Ty Scott and many others in Vauxhall’s Class of 2014-2015.
BALL ON THE EYE
Near the end of the season, Glor’s baseball future was thrown into question during the Jets’ May Long Weekend tournament.
The outfielder squared up to catch a flyball, but lost it momentarily, and it hit him directly in the eye.
“All I remember is hearing a crack and our shortstop, Ty Scott, is running out and saying, ‘Oh shoot!’ … well, he said it a little more colourfully,” Glor recalled. “Then I remember Les being over me, telling me not to get up, telling me it will be alright, and that the ambulance is coming.”
Scott remembers it being the time of night where it dark enough for the lights to come on, but the sun hadn’t completely gone down over the horizon.
It made for a difficult play on a hit that was in “no man’s land” behind second base.
“I remember Lux called it pretty early and was running hard to make the play,” he said via text. “It was a really scary moment because of the speed he was running and the ball coming down, it hit him really hard and it made a horrible sound.”
As his teammates rushed to his side, Glor’s eye became instantly swollen.
He was taken to hospital in Taber, where medical staff tried to figure out if he would need to be airlifted to Calgary.
“The worst part about this whole time was that this whole time, they weren’t sure if they were going to do surgery, so they weren’t giving me any water,” Glor said. “They kept asking if I needed anything but all I wanted was some water.”
They gave him cotton balls soaked in water, but he wasn’t amused at the predicament.
Eventually, he was driven to Calgary, where he underwent surgery for what would be diagnosed as a macular black hole and a cataract.
SWING AND A MISS
Glor admits he’s not one to take a day off, so being forced into his dorm room while in concussion protocol wasn’t his idea of a good time.
Just two days into his recovery, he wanted back onto the field so he went outside when practice began – despite doctor’s orders to stay put because of light sensitivity.
“Les is throwing batting practice, so I grab a bat and tell him I’m going to swing,” Glor said. “He says, ‘You sure?’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, I got this.’”
But he didn’t.
“I think the first one he threw, I probably missed the ball by 20 feet,” Glor laughed. “It wasn’t even close.”
He refused to get out of the batter’s box until he made contact with a pitch, finally settling for a foul ball off the end of his bat.
It was a disappointing moment for Glor, who realized it wasn’t going to be easy coming back from the injury and, if he did, that it might not be the same as it was before.
Glor did take solace in knowing that he already had a backup plan.
In Manitoba, he wasn’t just a rising baseball star. He was also a star track athlete, winning numerous medals and accolades.
It wasn’t his first choice, but he kept that in the back of his mind when he headed to Vauxhall.
The same held true once he signed on with the University of Mary, trying to delicately balance the needs of baseball, track and school.
Even though he was redshirting in baseball, it was the sport he wanted to focus on, admitting he was “going through the motions” in track that first year.
But as much as he tried to coast through it, the competitive side started to once again come through.
“Once they got into the competition part, I wanted to be as good as I could be,” Glor said. “I wanted to go to Nationals and then I wanted to be an All-American.”
Before long, he made the decision to chase a new dream.
NO SLOWING DOWN
Luxon Glor’s resume in track is impressive.
Specializing in the 100-metre race and long-jump, his name figures prominently at the UMary track as he holds school records, was an NSIC All-Conference athlete and champion, and was a five-time NCAA All-American.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he had his eyes on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and continues to train in hopes of representing Canada in the future.
He’s also continuing his schooling, as he is now studying law in New York.
Even though he’s been removed from Alberta for a few years now, he’s grateful for social media and the ability to stay connected to Vauxhall and looks back at his time here fondly.
“There are so many people who I’m still close with to this day,” Glor said. “It was just an unbelievable experience, obviously as a baseball player but also just the relationships you build there.”
He says it’s hard not getting nostalgic when he sees someone from Vauxhall comment on one of his posts about how they love seeing him do well.
His old coach and teammates are among those cheering from afar.
“To come back from that serious of an injury, switch gears and absolutely dominate in track is a testament to his character, work ethic and determination,” Scott said. “I could go on and on, but it was a pleasure to play alongside him at Vauxhall and it has continued to be a pleasure watching his success.”
McTavish hopes Glor will come back to speak to his current athletes soon, to show that it’s about more than just baseball.
“Luxon left an impact on our program and his future is certainly bright,” McTavish said. “Whether you’re a baseball player, soccer player, hockey player or track star, his story will resonate with a lot of people.”
Through it all, Glor is still smiling, knowing his story is far from over.