There are smiles . . . and then there are smiles. The Foresters were on the receiving end of a shining stack of super smiles this week—as well as showing off some of their own—as the team held its annual clinic with the Challengers Little League. Young people of all ages who have developmental disabilities gathered with Foresters players and coaches to laugh, love, and play baseball.
“What a great three days that was,” said manager Bill Pintard. “We even had Ryan from that group in our dugout on Thursday night. They did more for me than I did for them. They have a great spirit, they’re out there playing the game and living the dream. It was so fun.”
Infielder David Greer—who as a youngster in Arizona, worked with his father as the elder Greer ran a Challengers Little Leauge there—echoed the coach’s feelings.
“It really puts life and baseball in perspective,” David said. “I think we enjoyed it more than they did! Just seeing their smiles . . . we all had buddies that we worked with, and it was great to make them smile.” —Jim Buckley, Photos by Eric Isaacs
The Challengers-Foresters clinics are an outgrowth of the team’s longstanding Hugs for Cubs program to help families and kids battling cancer and other serious diseases. The connection between helping and baseball was a natural, and now each summer Foresters players take home an experience much more valuable than a new batting stance or way to turn the double play.
For more on Challengers Little League, visit their web site.