LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With the season quickly approaching the Spalding University Baseball team has been focused on the task at hand; build off their 4th place finish at the Small College World Series last year. After only losing two seniors, the team is poised for another run at a conference championship as well as a national championship. However, even with their busy schedule, the team took time this weekend to partner with St. Vincent Church and help feed the homeless. "We have been volunteering at different places this entire year," Head Coach Mike Stawski stated. "We have visited many different organizations like the Children's hospital and under privileged schools, and last month we came here to feed the homeless. It was such a moving experience for all of us that we had to come back again this month."
The baseball team spent Sunday morning working on the waterfront with members of St. Vincent Church helping feed the homeless of Louisville. Food such as eggs, biscuits, donuts, juice, and coffee were donated and handed out to all that came. The baseball team passed out hats and gloves to help people stay warm and were there to talk with the people to hear their story. Senior, Zach Stevenson, stated this would be an experience he would never forget. "After talking with these people that live on the streets, I was amazed that they are so positive," Stevenson said. "Their stories, while very disheartening at times were ones that a lot of us could relate too. In the end it was just really good to see so many fallen people be lifted for a brief moment."
The team has spent time this year working with mostly children. They have visited the cancer ward at the children's hospital on multiple occasions as well as visiting local schools with needy or under privileged kids. While both experiences taught the players about values and appreciation, this experience taught the team some humility. Senior second basemen and Louisville native, Bryan Clemmons felt that humility immediately. "Working with the people was an extremely humbling experience for me. After just spending a short part of my day with them, I feel like I won't be so quick to judge from now on."
Before leaving, the team also helped pass out clothes to the homeless and gave each one hand warmers as the cold of winter begins to set in. After all the food and clothes were gone, the homeless went back to the streets where most live on a daily basis, an idea that truly affected the team. "It's hard to watch everyone leave here without any certainty for them," Stawski stated. "Here we get to see them eat and get warm and we are able to physically give them things to make their lives just a little better. As they are walking away, I speak for my entire team because I could see it on their faces; we are all thinking 'now what?'."
The team plans to continue its monthly community service projects throughout the city of Louisville and when asked if they would come do this once again, Coach Stawski had this to say. "I wouldn't be surprised if we came right back here next month. Our guys seemed very moved by all of this and that is one of the reasons we are here."
The team begins their season with a doubleheader against in-state rival Centre College on Tuesday, February 21st at Derby City Stadium at 3:00pm.
Courtesy Spalding University sports information