Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 142: Fenway Park Hosts a Special Game While Sox On West Coast

The Red Sox are currently on the road playing on a dreaded west coast swing—those games you barely see the first couple innings of before your eyelids slam shut. You cross your fingers as you check the scores the next morning, just hoping they notched a win in the wee hours of your morning. And last night they did win behind a gem of an outing from Jon Lester and they still hold that slim one game lead. Yay!

Last night, Fenway Park hosted a different kind of game. It was the kind of game where the players didn't earn paychecks that could buy a small country. A game where the fans were admitted to the park for free and asked only for a donation. This game was a game for heroes.

The Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team made a stop in Boston to take on the Boston Marathon First Responders in a charity softball game to benefit the One Fund. According to MLB.com, the WWAST is made up of both veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs and was formed in 2011 when the University of Arizona received a congressional grant to finance a disabled-veteran sports camp. After the week-long camp ended, many of the attendees didn't want to stop and the WWAST was born. The team travels around the country playing against mostly police and fire departments. Pretty much kicking ass and taking names.

The Boston Marathon First Responders was pulled together shortly before the game and evidently learned quickly they were in over their heads. MLB.com says:
The First Responders should've had a few practices beforehand, a theory they realized shortly after the game started. It wasn't that they didn't take their opponent seriously -- "To be on the same field as these guys is an honor itself," said Boston firefighter Phil Byrne, who was three blocks away from the first explosion April 15 -- they just never thought to organize a practice.
The WWAST is such a great role model for both adults and kids, with and without limbs. They display such persistence and determination. There are men who play nearly as well now as they did before their injuries. And they show the younger amputees that life doesn't end with the loss of a limb. General manager, David Van Sleet, an Army veteran, says they have a motto: "Life without limb is limitless. But more importantly, life goes on."

By the way, the First Responders got their butts kicked, 28-11.

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