A team of teenage baseball players from Langley has arrived in Puerto Rico, for a trip that combines the game they love with an opportunity to do some good.
Members of the Langley Blaze packed a lot of baseball gear and warm weather clothes and left the snow and ice of Langley last week (Wednesday Feb. 13) for a 10-day visit to the hurricane ravaged U.S.territory.
Coach Eddie Dagg said the AAA bantam team managed to raise $50,000 for the trip, enabling them to bring two electrical generators and other supplies.
They are also bringing new baseballs and about 200 baseball gloves.
“I was shocked to hear that many boys in Puerto Rico have never seen a new baseball,” Dagg said.
“I think it’ll be a good trip for the boys because they’ll understand how lucky they are coming from this country,” Dagg added.
“So they can be better young adults in the future.”
Player Tommy Palazoff was looking forward to the visit.
“It’s a good thing to do,” Palazoff said.
“It makes you feel good about what you’re doing down there, not just playing baseball.:
Langley Blaze player Kayden Zischka and dad Domonic were both making the trip to Puerto Rico, though dad was leaving a few days later.
Domonic said it would be a good experience for his son and his teammates.
“They can see how other people in the world live and how unfortunate some people are and how fortunate they are,” he said.
One bonus will be an opportunity to tour the home of baseball legend Roberto Alomar a Puerto Rico native, and to talk baseball with a 12-time major league all-star who won more “Gold Gloves” awards than any other second baseman in baseball history,.
Many areas are still without electricity, many houses are still without roofs and schools remain closed.
“We are all part of a global community and our youth need to learn about the needs of others around the world,” an online statement posted by the team said.
“There is no better way for young people to learn about social service, social justice, and giving back than through seeing the needs of others with their own eyes and learning that they can make a difference in the lives of others.”