Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wounded Warriors Show Off Softball Skills at Fenway - Linked to mlb.com Article by Jason Mastronado

Kyle Earl, the DH for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, stretches before the game.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/AP)
As I promised in yesterday's Blog post, I was pleased to be able to attend last evening's  special softball game between the Wounder Warrior Amputee Softball Team and group of Boston First Responders made up of men and women from the BPD, BFD, and BEMS.

Jason Mastronado of mlb.com was there, and chronicled the event in an article linked below.

mlb.com Article by Jason Mastrodonato

"BOSTON -- Kyle Earl knows the role he plays on his traveling softball team. He understands he's supposed to run really fast, put pressure on the defense with his legs and cover ground in the field. He's not trying to do too much else.

Earl is missing his right hand. It was amputated after an improvised explosive device blast in Iraq in 2006, when he was serving in the U.S. Marines as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "For me, I mean, having one hand, you have to catch, take the glove off and be able to throw," says Earl, 27, a Michigan native with a wife and three kids at home. "Hitting -- it's the same thing. 

This is all I got." He motions to his right arm, which stops short near the wrist. Earl grabs a bat to show how he swings. "I hold it right here," he says, grasping the bottom of the bat with his left hand and resting the higher part of the grip on his right arm."

  I was joined in the stands at Fenway by USA Col. Everett Spain and his family, a visiting British Wound Warrior who was wounded by an IED while his RAF unit was deployed to the Middle East, and a host of other veterans, wounder warriors, family, friends and supportive citizens.  It was a great evening.
In his article, Jason Mastronado mentions the WWAST shortstop, Matt Kinsey: "Matthew Kinsey, who plays without a right foot, has proven so talented that he was named MVP after homering in the celebrity softball game at the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City."

Because I found a seat close to the WWAST on deck circle, I had opportunities throughout the evening to keep up a running banter with several of the players, including Matt.  My first Salvo was to tell him and a few of his team mates the following: "Listen guys, I come to a lot of games here at Fenway to see the Red Sox.  I can tell you for sure that you are going to be running these bases better than most of them do!"  That set the tone for the chatter that followed for the rest of the game.  After the game, Matt, Kyle and their team mates spent time signing autographs and posing for fan photos. 

Matt Kinsey chats with an RAF Wounded Warrior - The White Rhino looks on
Photo by Everett Spain

As the mlb.com article mentions, the WWAST defeated the first responders 28-11, but there were no losers on that field last night.

If you would like to learn more and the WWAST, please take a moment to check out their website.


mlb.com Article

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