Monday, April 23, 2012


Last week was the first of two baseball match ups between the cross town rivals. I attended the same high school that Shaggy and Lollipop Pop now attend and I pity my friends who have kids at the dreaded "other" school.   Anyway, last Wednesday made me simply proud to be a mom of ANY of the young men on the field.  You see, just over 3 weeks ago, one of our former players was killed in an automobile accident.  Tyler and a friend were driving to watch our boys play baseball when it occurred.  Tyler had graduated last year and was playing ball at our local junior college, but was often at our practices and games.  He was a special 18 year old who had an energy about him that is unmatched.  Tyler's Dad told my husband at the funeral that they had "18 years of pure joy". I have no idea how parents go on after the loss of a child.
Many of our boys had played with Tyler and he was a true friend and they were devastated.  One of the most difficult things I have had to do as a mother was watch these 16 and 17 year old young men play baseball just a few hours after learning of the accident.  Many had not even slept. The boy who wore Tyler's number, asked for a new jersey so that #16 could hang in the dugout. As each boy came up to bat, you could see how badly they wanted a hit....for Tyler. It was truly heart wrenching. There was to be a second game that Saturday but it was eventually rained out.  The time prior to the rain out was a blessing from God.  Both teams were in their dugouts with the tarps covering the field. Our coaches were trying to keep the boys' minds occupied, as well as their own and saw something on You-Tube that sparked an idea. A "skit" was made up by our boys....then the other team did one...back and forth with cheering and laughing from both teams.  The finale to this was the opposing team running out into the rain and onto the water logged tarps which had now become a ginormous slip and slide...our boys could not resist.  In full uniforms, they joined in the fun and left the ball park with smiles and laughing for a few minutes.  I truly believe God's hand was all over that.  (I also thank the opposing Coach David for his encouragement)
Last Wednesday, our coach arranged our baseball game to be played at the junior college where Tyler had played.  There was a short ceremony prior to the game and Tyler's #16 was retired from our program. 

This had never happened before in our school and was very moving.  Tyler's parents, grandmother, sister and brother were presented with his framed jerseys. There will be a banner hung on our field in his memory as well. 
After the jerseys were presented, the "other" school's team walked from theie dugout to the field and offered words od encouragement and hugs to our players and Tyler's family.  


 In the whole scheme of things, rivalry games are fun, but not what truly matters.  At least for these few minutes, these boys were one family, offering comfort and support for each other. 
Tyler had a saying that I think sums up so much...

"There are three things in life that are essential, Love, Respect, and Baseball."


Becky said...

Here I sit with tear filled eyes wishing that this beautiful ceremony never had to take place.
Blessings for them ALL!

Michelle said...

Really very moving, but sad that it had to take place.

Denice said...

very moving and sad.....i am sorry for everyone who endured the pain and loss of this special young man

Shelby Curry said...

I stumbled upon your blog after doing a google search for "Love, Respect, Baseball" (out of sheer curiosity of what would come up) and just wanted to say thank you for your love and support. Ty made a huge impact on so many lives and we are thankful for the time we had with him.

Shelby Curry
(Tyler's sister-in-law)