Wounded Warriors and Boston Marathon First Responders Play At Fenway
The public address announcer asked everyone to rise and remove their caps at Fenway Park Monday night, but the Red Sox weren’t there. While the team is on the West Coast, the historic field played host to the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) who took on the Boston Marathon first responders in a charity softball game. The event was free, but donations went to the One Fund.
The Wounded Warriors team is made up of veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs post-9/11. There’s a variety of amputations on the team like both legs, below the knee, and one arm. Some team members are still in the service, while others are in college or have moved on to new careers.
According to MLB.com, the WWAST was created in 2011 when the University of Arizona got a congressional grant to fund a disabled-veteran sports camp. The week-long camp took place during MLB Spring Training but the newly formed team wanted to keep playing. Now, the team “has traveled to 55 cities in 25 states, playing a series of games — typically against police departments or fire departments — on a schedule that tends to be every other weekend,” the report says.
MLB.com also says that the first responders could have used some practice.:
The First Responders should’ve had a few practices beforehand, a theory they realized shortly after the game started. It wasn’t that they didn’t take their opponent seriously — “To be on the same field as these guys is an honor itself,” said Boston firefighter Phil Byrne, who was three blocks away from the first explosion April 15 — they just never thought to organize a practice.
In the end, the WWAST beat the First Responders 28-11. It’s not surprising. The team has some serious talent. MLB.com reports that Matthew Kinsey, who plays without a right foot, was named MVP in the celebrity softball game at the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, and Joshua Wege, who plays with a pair of prosthetic legs, shared MVP honors with comedian Kevin James at the 2013 All-Star Game in New York. Rookie Ryan McIntosh, who has a partially amputated leg, even hit an inside the park home run Monday night, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished at Fenway since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2011.
Newbie Ryan McIntosh rests after an inside the park homer to center. http://t.co/2ONcTcyHJT
— WWAST (@WWAmpSoftball) August 19, 2013
— Dylan Dreyer (@DylanDreyerNBC) August 20, 2013
— Jamie Erdahl (@JamieErdahl) August 19, 2013