EASLEY—Most of the days at the Big League World Series are filled with getting ready for the next game, but players and coaches do have some off time. Many use a portion of that time to find a way to make a contribution to the community.
For several players and coaches that contribution included a visit to the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, where the players introduced themselves and brought gifts for the children.
“It was truly inspiring to see the children who are going through so much have so much love and for the staff to be so full of love and hope for them,” said Jimmy Valverde, manager of the West Region champions from Anaheim, California.
Valverde said he had done a charity baseball game to raise money for kids with pediatric cancer a while back. While at the hospital, he called the person he organized the event for and was in tears.
“I don’t think I had realized how important raising money for these kind of needs were until I met these kids,” he said.
He added that he felt the visit was a good experience for his players, many of whom had never been in a children’s hospital before.
Gregg Powell, manager of the Easley-based host team, said he also thought the experience was good for his players.
“All of our players seemed to enjoy it and I think they learned a lot,” said Powell. “Many of them had never been there before so it was a different experience.”
Trey Hayes, a player on the Easley team said the trip reminded him that everyone has doesn’t have the ability to play a sport.
“We are so blessed to play a game that many of these kids would give anything to play,” said Hayes.