Just before Winter Recess in February, the Express Varsity Baseball Team visited Mrs. Klotz’s first-grade class to read to the six and seven-year-old Fassett Elementary students.
Just after this visit, one of the first graders they just visited suddenly became life-threateningly ill after going through what should have been a routine surgery.
First grader, Allie Yackel, for whom the #AllieStrong campaign is supporting, was one of those first graders. Touched by her story, the baseball players decided to “adopt” Allie. The team left a note in Allie’s classroom to invite her to throw out the first pitch at one of their games this spring.
The next day after Allie learned about this invitation, she began bean bag tosses in physical therapy to strengthen her pitching arm! Working hard in parallel, Allie and the team are working hard toward their goals.
Allie came home earlier this week and as fate would have it, the baseball team’s last home game was scheduled for Monday, May 13, but was rained out. The last home game, senior night, is being played tonight, May 16, at Ernie Davis Academy baseball field and Allie is able to throw out the first pitch.
All season back in the Express dugout, each player wears a wrist band that reads #AllieStrong to remind them of their purpose. A photo of Allie traveled with them from dugout to dugout as inspiration to keep them motivated throughout the season.
While winning is a goal, this story keeps the game in perspective. And this special bond is much bigger than the game of baseball.