RICHMOND, Va. -- Abner Doubleday is credited as the founder of baseball. But it’s a safe bet Mr. Doubleday never would have imagined his game would teach a group of Richmond teens about how precious life is outside the base paths.
“I love it more than anything. I couldn’t even express it in words,” said 17-year-old Dahsean Smith. “It shows me how to be mature on and off the field as far as leadership and helping others.”
In January, members of the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League flew to Nassau, Bahamas for an international tournament. The competition was highly skilled Bahamian players.
“This is a very special group of people. Little boys from the youth to the seniors,” said Mike Berry.
The team returned with a new appreciation for the country and its people. So, when Hurricane Dorian roared through the Bahamas leaving utter devastation in its wake, the teens from Richmond were left speechless.
Their thoughts turned to their new friends. Each player wondering what the future holds.
“They don’t care where they go or who they are playing. They played these guys before so that gives them encouragement to help and want to help,” said Mike Berry.
Players and coaches like William Forrester Jr. knew they couldn’t sit on the bench.
“You see what’s going on over there. We need to step up in the City of Richmond and across the U.S. to help these people,” said Forrester.
The teens from the city to the suburbs are in the early stages of a relief effort.
“Teamwork is a dreamwork. I think you can achieve much better things with more than one person,” said 16-year-old Andrew Smetana.
Each teen is committed to act.
“That is one of the things we try to teach them. Life from one moment to the next moment. You never know what’s going to happen so try to make the most of it as you can. But also keep in mind you’re here to help people also,” said Commissioner of R.B.I. Tracy Causey.
Hurricane Dorian threw the Bahamas a nasty curveball. A virtual field of nightmares.
“Just learning that everything can be taken from you in a flee than a couple of hours,” said Dahsean Smith.
They are baseball players acting as young ambassadors of goodwill 900 miles away. These teens are proving Abner Doubleday’s game oozes brims with heart at home and abroad.
“If you come in my life in baseball then you’re in my life,” said 17-year-old Davionne Anderson.
“I feel helpless but I’m going to find a way to help. But this is the way. Playing ball and raising money. That is going to be the way. That is going to be the way we’re going to do it.”
The team will have a truck at the Diamond Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The players will be collecting items like first aid supplies, toothbrushes, flashlights, batteries, can openers, hand sanitizer and gauzes.
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