For the second year in a row, pouring rain halted the Baseball4Christ team’s annual tune-up game at Newnan High’s Joe Pope Field.
The Baseball4Christ team – a team comprised of area high school and college players – was supposed to play the visiting Loganville Fellowship of Christian Athletes team Thursday evening, but instead rain and lightning caused the contest to be canceled.
The Baseball4Christ team will leave for Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico early Saturday morning and will be busy playing baseball against the local high school teams, spreading the Christian Gospel and doing mission work for an entire week. There will be 19 area players going on the baseball and mission trip – nine going for the first time, six making the return trip and four college players going as graduate assistants.
The rain may have dampened the baseball field, but it didn’t dampen the mood of the Baseball4Christ players and their coaches.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the guys on the team and helping the Mexican people spiritually on this trip,” said 2017 East Coweta High graduate Devonte Brown, a Baseball4Christ first-timer. “I’ve never been to Mexico before, and I’m ready to play some baseball and see how the residents will benefit from the work we’ll be doing. We should have a good time.”
Jay Macke, a 2017 Heritage School graduate and a Baseball4Christ returnee, said he looks forward to seeing the excited Mexican kids.
“The kids love having us there. They ask us to autograph their arms and their faces,” Macke said. “Being a part of this team last year was a life-changing experience for me. We built a roof for a shelter, did a lot of painting, and we played about four baseball games. I had a great time and I’m looking forward to doing it all again this year.”
The itinerary for the 2017 Baseball4Christ trip is similar to last year, said head coach Tim Lowery.
“We’re going to the same places we went to in previous years, but we’ve added a few different places this year. We’re going to see how everything plays out,” Lowery said. “The beauty of the trip is that I’m taking the players back to their T-ball days. This is all for the love of the game… there’s no state, region or county titles on the line – just playing baseball for fun, spreading the word and doing some work.”
Lowery said they will keep score, but “only to see how many innings we have left to play.”
Mike Winslett, president and CEO of Baseball4Christ, said the trip is a fun and humbling experience for the players.
“The guys love playing baseball and helping the Mexican community. They see a lot of the poverty over there, and it changes their outlook on life,” Winslett said. “They realize they are blessed to live in the U.S. and have a lot of things that many people in other countries don’t have. It definitely puts things in perspective for them.”