MARTINS FERRY - Playing baseball and learning about giving back.
What could be better for two Pinto All-Star Teams on a gorgeous Monday evening.
Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville experienced the best of both worlds during an impromptu meeting between the two squads, which were wrapping up their seasons.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Braylon Blomquist throws to first base during Monday’s game at Fodor Field to benefit charity. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
All of the $420 raised from the game, which was well attended, will be donated to the Tri-County Woman's Help Center.
When Kroll first approached St. Clairsville about taking part, he thought if there was a player or family on either team that needed some help.
"We thought there might be a family that we could donate to, to help offset medical bills or something like that, but thankfully, no one needed that," Kroll said. "St. Clairsville's coaches and team were on board with the idea immediately."
After throwing around a few ideas, Kroll and St. C. coach Dave Hoffman settled on the Tri-County Women's Help Center.
"I was all in on that because anything we can do to help people, we're all for it," Kroll said. "We tried our best to keep our costs at a minimum as best we could, so we can turn over a decent amount of money. It went over really well. We're happy with how it's gone."
Along with the six-inning game, the players also had a home run derby and a throwing competition from the outfield to home plate.
Most importantly, however, the players learned about giving back.
"Some of these kids, at this age, might not fully understand the benefits of giving back or what exactly they're doing this for, but you're never too young to start to learn about helping people," Kroll said.
Kroll made sure he and his assistant coaches talked to their players about what exactly they were playing this game for.
Obviously, both teams wanted to win, but in the grand scheme of things the outcome was relatively meaningless because both teams, and the Tri-County Women's Help Center, were winners.
"The kids were excited to play another game, but they were also happy to help people, which makes us as coaches and parents feel really good," Kroll said.
Kroll hopes to make the charity game an annual event.
"I'm not sure if we'll keep it a Pinto thing for those teams or continue to play against this group of kids up through the ranks," Kroll said. "Either way, it's something we'll definitely continue."
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