Playing baseball for the Purple Hurricanes isn’t just about baseball either.
That’s because the Canes’ mentor likes to give the baseball players a look at the bigger picture, so to speak.
In Fort Myers, Fla., where Cartersville has been playing four games as part of a showcase of some of the nation’s best baseball teams, the Canes also found a visit to a local children’s hospital was a part of the trip.
Chester said the visit let the Canes see for themselves what life is about.“It’s an opportunity for our kids to see how fortunate they are and count the blessing they have to be able to get up each morning and go play baseball,” he said.
He said the Canes’ Thursday visit to Golisano Childrens Hospital was all that and more.
“They got to see a little girl who was so shy she hardly wanted to see anyone,” he said. “But after a while with our team they got to see a young girl who was not nearly so shy and who eventually was coloring with four or five players.
“Through their visit, they were able to give her a smile for a day.”
It wasn’t just the players and children who gained something.
“They were able to see a parent who is real cautious about letting anyone in her son’s room because of his infection,” Chester said. “They were then able to see how that parent warmed to their visit. It let her heal a little. They were able to leave with that parent and a boy happy.
“We also had a kid who asked that his picture be made with some of our ballplayers.”
Chester said it was a good learning experience for the team and they got to see how they can make an impact.
“I feel they made a difference with some of the children, no doubt,” he said.
Cartersville’s baseball coach said the hospital visit taught important lessons that all youngsters should be aware of.
“We want to teach them more than ground balls or how to swing a bat,” he said. “We like for them to learn life experiences.”