By Brian Martin

A long and arduous season is coming to a bittersweet end for the Big Sandy Wildcats. Unfortunately, they ended the season winless, but they were able to go out on a high note in the eyes and hearts of two young men.

     Throughout the baseball season, several Big Sandy players spent some of their Friday nights volunteering at Truman W. Smith Children’s Care Center, including assisting with Truman W. Smith’s Easter Egg Hunt. During their time there they adopted two young men…or shall I say they were adopted as brothers by two young men at the center, Phillip and Tristian.                

Throughout the season, Coaches Watson and Martin have been trying to schedule a day when the two young men could come out to the baseball park and watch a game with their “family.” Several players wanted to do something more than bring them to the game, they wanted them involved, and in order to do that they asked if the two men could throw out a first pitch at a home game. The players picked the home finale on April 26 to be the day they hosted their family from Truman Smith.

     What the teams did not foresee coming was the success of both teams track programs. Big Sandy and Union Grove have several of their baseball players participating at the Regional Track Meet April 26 and 27. Due to this fact; the final home game had to be rescheduled for Tuesday April 23, when the teams played a double header on the road at Union Grove. The Grove proved to be a more than a gracious host; they wanted to partake in the festivities as well.  Tuesday April 23 that dream came to fruition to a degree neither one of the coaches could have imagined. In between games of the double header, a ceremonial first pitch took place with the two men. Every player from both teams lined the foul lines; once the pitches were thrown a deafening roar went up from the crowd. At that time, no one cared who won or lost the games, all eyes were on the two young men from Truman Smith.

     To better make the two feel more connected to the baseball team and their newly adopted family, the players unveiled brand new uniforms that matched the two men, not only a new jersey with name and number on the back, but also their very own game pants. Both teams presented the two with game balls signed by each team.