Dec. 4, 2009
Rome, Ga. - Members of the Shorter College baseball team got a good look at how fortunate they are to be in such a great situation here on the Hill.
On Nov. 17-21, seven Hawks took part in the Dominican Republic Baseball Outreach Missions Trip.
Assistant coach Trevor Miller and players Ben Stell, Bart Butler, Matt Kirksey, Matt McClain, Brandon Johnson, Joseph Brooks, and Colby Luther took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this wonderful opportunity.
"In the course of the trip to the Dominican Republic, I never realized the impact that this trip would have on my life," Johnson said. "Baseball was important to all of us, but Christ was even more so!"
The players had the opportunity to take the baseball skills and knowledge they possess and pass it on to the kids who attended the event. Along with teaching the game they love, the players participated in numerous other mission activities including orphanage work, minor construction on near-by villages, food distribution, and painting projects among others.
"The impact and life lessons we took from interacting with the children were far greater than anything we could have given or taught them," said Miller.
Perhaps the most important opportunity the players experienced was the chance to spend time with the children of the Dominican Republic both on and off the baseball diamond.
"Our short time in the Dominican Republic was one of the most amazing experiences of my life," said Stell, a sophomore pitcher from Douglasville, Ga. "Every day we worked with hundreds of different kids, all of which had one common love, baseball."
"It was humbling to see the joy that came about in a kid's eyes when we would give him something as simple as a hat or a baseball."
This experience could not have come at a better time, being that it was the week before Thanksgiving.
"Our experience down there made us realize how much we take for granted here at home and it made so many of our problems seem petty compared to what some of these kids live with every day," Stell said. "Overall it was a humbling trip that forced us to take a step back and reevaluate our own priorities."
Shorter head coach Matt Larry was pleased that some of the players were able to contribute in the mission.
"This was a great opportunity for these guys to visit an underprivileged country and see children and young men eager to learn a sport that their country so dearly cherishes," Larry said.
An experience like this will serve as great motivation to the players as they prepare for the upcoming season, which begins on February 2, 2010 with a trip to West Georgia.