“Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth” – Lou Gehrig
If you’ve followed the MLB Postseason on social media this fall, you’ve probably seen quite a few hashtags involving October. Major League Baseball started it all with #chasingOctober and several teams followed suit. We saw #Buctober in Pittsburgh, #oCtober in Cleveland, #OAKtober in Oakland, #Soxtober in Boston, and here at the Scrappers we’ve had #Walktober.
Eastwood Field is home to the Scrappers for 38 home games between the months of June and September as well as YSU Penguin baseball through most of the Spring. However, it also plays host to several community events such as the recent Walk Now For Autism Speaks Walk October 5th, and the Northeast Ohio Defeat ALS Walk this past Sunday.
2013 Was the first year we’ve helped host Walk Now For Autism Speaks Walk and it proved to be a truly unique and impactful event. Autism Speaks began setup at 7am and by the time registration opened to the public at 9 the DJ was playing, tents were propped up and the resource fair was ready to go. My favorite part of the event was that Autism Speaks involved local businesses and groups through their resource fair. Ten tables at the fair were set up with information about Autism as well as an activities for kids who visited.
After opening remarks, teams followed Scrappy on a one-mile walk around the ballpark ending at third base on the field. A personal element Autism Speaks incorporated into the event was having pictures of the different teams cycle through on the videoboard. Several people stopped to check out their team picture from the year before and some of their favorite family pictures that they had submitted earlier this fall.
The following Sunday, the staff returned to Eastwood Field to help prepare for and host the second walk of the month, this time for the ALS Association.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a cause that has had a profound effect on the baseball community. Hall of Famer and Yankee legend Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS during the 1939 season. In what the New York Times called “one of the most touching scenes ever witnessed on a ball field” Lou Gehrig addressed Yankee Stadium, his critics, and his fans and thanked them for their support on July 4, 1939. If you haven’t seen Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech, I highly recommend watching it.
The ALS Association set up information about Lou Gehrig’s legacy, a giant inflatable baseball jersey signed by fans and ALS supporters from all over the country, and information tables around the stadium for walkers to peruse after registration. After an opening ceremony from the planning board as well as a statement from Miss Pennsylvania who recently lost her father to the disease, walkers followed Scrapper around the park to support ALS.
The Autism Speaks and ALS Association walks were my first two events since the season ended and proved to be a taste of how though we may only have games June through September, the Scrappers are part of the community all year round.