NEW BALTIMORE - The Greene County Outlaws, a regional baseball team that is based at Hallock Park in New Baltimore, has assembled a relief effort to aid a team in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey called the Houston Warriors Baseball Academy.
A have-diamond-will-travel baseball squad, the Outlaws is a competitive baseball organization that also provides instruction and training for developing young players.
One of several baseball organizations devastated by Harvey, the Warriors faced total destruction. Flood waters reached the midway point of the walls of their field facility, submerging all their equipment, gear, trophies and photo memorabilia.
The Warriors are a travel baseball team in Houston that have players in similar age groups as the Outlaws.
A group of three Greene County “baseball moms” from the U9 team on the Outlaws got together to help after hearing about the losses suffered by the Warriors at a forum for mothers with children in baseball.
The group, made up of Jennifer Weinstein, Kristin VanAlphen and Shannon Slater, contacted the mom who posted the devastation on social media and, eventually, the Warriors’ manager to see if the team would be comfortable with them helping out.
VanAlphen and Slater are team moms for the U9 team. Team moms are comparable to clubhouse managers in the minor and major leagues. Moms handle everything from team photos to uniforms, and game schedules to scorekeeping.
“It’s been great to see,” Weinstein said. “Our hope is to replenish their equipment and hold them over until they get started again.”
Over the past few weekends, at home games and at their annual fall barbecue, the Outlaws held drop-off equipment drives.
“We set up a last call date last weekend but they kept coming,” Weinstein said. “We hope to get it out to them this week.”
Weinstein said she anticipates having at least four boxes full of equipment to send out.
State Telephone Company Vice President Mark Evans has offered to help out by picking up the cost to ship the equipment to Texas.
“It really opened up conversations with the team,” Weinstein said. “It was nice to sit down and discuss [with the kids] what they’re seeing on TV.”
Warriors coach Scott Moore replied to the Outlaws’ offer to help and expressed his gratitude.
“Your generosity is unbelievable and we appreciate the offer so much,” he said. “We would greatly accept any and everything that comes our way. Giving to others and being selfless is not only an important lesson as an athlete, but just in life in general.”
Weinstein said that the community effort gave her hope that if another tragedy happened, she knows they would be able to come together again to help.
The Outlaws are always looking to ways to give back to the community, VanAlphen said.
“We want to make sure they don’t take [being able to play baseball] for granted,” she said. “We want them to know how important it is to give back to the community.”
This was a special opportunity for the Outlaws to give back and also appreciate what they have in baseball as well.
“We had to explain to the boys — we don’t know what it’s like to have life without baseball,” VanAlphen said.