For the 9th straight year, amateur baseball players throughout the Boston area took part in Winterball, a freeze-fest baseball game held to benefit Toys for Tots and the United States Marine Corp. The 9-inning game was scheduled to be played snow or shine.
Temperature was 42 degrees at game time with a steady mist. The field was muddy and the turf was a mess. But more than 50 athletes, two umpires, and about two dozen fans were in attendance to watch Team Santa battle Team Rudolph. The rosters were huge. Rudolph had 27 guys in their batting order at one point. As one of the event organizers, I of course hit dead last. I managed to work a full-count walk in my lone at-bat. I later scored on a double, almost passing the slow runner ahead of me, Earl Murphy, who is indeed a much better ballplayer than I am, yet slower than most large animals.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. Patrick Slattery of the Boston Fire Department was on hand to address the athletes, collect more than 50 toys, and delivery the Ceremonial First Pitch. Ryan Bere and Smokey Moore of the Boston Men’s Baseball League, who also hosted the event, managed the squads with excellence, even though Bere delegated nearly every task so he could focus on staying warm.
A ton of kids are going to be thrilled by the spirited outcome of the game, even though Santa got his butt handed to him by Rudolph, 8-6.
- charityhop posted this