By Michele DeLuca firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
— Maybe it’s the influence of the pro players who are starting to do it.
Maybe it’s because more than one of them has a family member touched by cancer.
Maybe it’s because they’re just really good kids.
Whatever the reason, when it came time to pick the T-shirt that all the baseball players would wear under their varsity jersey vests, the young men at St. Christophers School chose to wear pink in support of those battling breast cancer.
As they head into the finals of their baseball season, turns out they are really the “Boys of October,” as this month is also national Breast Cancer Awareness month.
A show of hands at a recent practice at the Town of Tonawanda elementary school, showed that every single player’s life has been impacted by the disease, if not in their own families, than at their school, where their favorite music teacher is on chemotherapy.
Coach Huber was so impressed with the boys selection of the pink T-shirts, that he said it was a “no brainer” to purchase them for the team.
The few players that were worried the pink might not look good, were converted as soon as the they all showed up in uniform at the first scrimmage.
“I think pink is hot,” said Joe Delabio, the team’s centerfielder.
His teammate, Will Hearn, first baseman added, “it shows how much we care.”
On the field the pink sleeves stand out loud and clear and send a message that the boys are serious about battling breast cancer. And while the team has made the playoffs every year for the past 20 — under the guidance of Coach Huber — this year is especially poignant because it’s Huber’s last year.
The coach is pretty impressed.
“They’re great kids,” he said. “They’re selfless.”
Inspired by the team, all parents have started fundraising during the games by selling food at a concession stand with all the proceeds going to battle breast cancer.
The team and its leaders hope to continue the fundraising beyond the baseball season. There are plans to purchase pink wristbands that will be engraved with “SCS” depicting their school initials and also abbreviating the words “Strikeout Cancer Soon.” All of the proceeds will be donated to battling breast cancer.
But, no doubt, the pink shirts started it all at St. Chris.
“It just feels good to be the first sports team in our league to wear the pink shirts,” said Andrew Crane, the team’s catcher.
Added Tim Paglione, the right fielder, “I think it’s good we’re playing a sport we like to play and helping people at the same time.”
JOIN THE CAUSE • WHO: Varsity baseball team at St. Christopher's School in the Town of Tonawanda • WHAT: Players are wearing pink T-shirts under their jersey vests in support of breast cancer awareness and are also fundraising to battle the disease. • MORE INFORMATION: Send donations to St. Christopher's School, C/O Varsity Baseball Fundraiser, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, NY 14150. Or phone the school at 693-5604.