Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A special gift has turned into a field of dreams for one city Catholic school. After months of fundraisers, the Nick Adenhart Memorial Foundation stepped in to help. As Gigi Barnett reports, on Saturday the players said “thank you.”
Baseball practice at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore used to last for hours. Coaches were creative on the tiny field.
But all of that has changed, thanks to a gift: a batting cage.
“I know it just seems like a batting cage, but this is my Taj Mahal,” said head coach Brian Boles.
He says the school’s baseball budget was zero.
So Boles called the Nick Adenhart Foundation, named after the Maryland native and L.A. Angels player who was killed by a drunk driver back in 2009.
Last year, the foundation sent $3,000 to buy and build the cage.
This weekend, at a special ceremony, the team said thanks by naming the cage after Adenhart.
“This cage is the only thing we can call our own,” said K’shjuan Davis, a St. Frances player. “ We still have some needs, but we are very thankful for this cage.”
At the ceremony was Torii Hunter, L.A. Angels player and Adenhart’s friend.
“If I had this cage when I was a kid I think I would have spent the night in here,” Hunter said. “Every night.”
The boys say before they got this batting cage, they had to visit other schools to get in some good, hard practice time. But now that they’ve got this batting cage on their home turf, it cuts down on time and travel.
“This is the best thing ever,” said Kirk Gaddy, St. Frances player. “We can come here Monday through Friday after school, after we do our homework and get some hitting in.”
And maybe a championship, too. St. Frances won a conference championship back in 2009 without the batting cage.