DONALDSON — The Ancilla College baseball team will be pitching in to help in a special effort for American soldiers overseas.
Ancilla Athletic Director Gene Reese — an avid baseball fan — came across a perfect community service match for the team while reading up on the latest baseball news online. Reese came across Gloves 4 Troops, a charity run by Vance Albitz, a minor league shortstop with the Memphis Cardinals. A brief discussion with Ancilla baseball coach Joe Yonto later, and the Chargers were on board.
“I came across a story on ‘Hot Stove’,” said Reese. “(Albitz) had some friends who were in Afghanistan and in discussions with them he asked what he could do to help out. They said so many of the things they do are hurry up and go followed by long periods of just waiting. What they really wanted were some gloves and baseballs so they could play ball between missions.”
Reese and Yonto mobilized some help — all the members of this year’s Ancilla baseball team — and are out seeking donations to help Albitz effort.
“He’s (Albitz) trying to get 1,000 gloves overseas before spring training starts,” said Reese. “We want to get as many as we can in the next two weeks or so.”
“You know I think that everybody who has ever played baseball has an extra glove lying around somewhere,” said Reese. “And I think that most people really appreciate what our soldiers are doing to protect our freedoms and would be happy to do something to show that appreciation.”
The team has also enlisted some help.
“We’ve purchased a bucket of baseballs to send,” said Reese. “We called Hoosier Bat Company (based in Valparaiso) and they told us to come on over, they wanted to donate some equipment to send.”
Donations can be sent to the college c/o Athletics, P.O. Box 1, Donaldson, IN 46513. Donations can also be dropped off at all Martin’s Supermarkets in South Bend, Mishawaka and Plymouth. Donations will be accepted until February 15. More information on Gloves 4 Troops is available at www.gloves4troops.com/