This year, though, the coaches — Creekview’s Mike Nayman and Sequoyah’s Joseph Jones — decided to try something different.
“This year, some logistical things got in the way a little bit, and we wanted to keep the game,” Nayman said. “All the guys from both teams pretty much know each other, so we tried to find a cause or charity.”
Instead, the Grizzlies and Chiefs will play today at 2 p.m. at Kennesaw State’s Stillwell Stadium.
Fans are asked to bring a used baseball glove in exchange for admission. The gloves will then be gathered, refurbished and donated to a mission group that will travel to the Dominican Republic to share the game of baseball.
Wes Lecroy, director of wellness and recreation for First Baptist Church of Woodstock and is one of the organizers of the Gloves4God group, is also involved.
The Woodstock-based Gloves4God group repairs gloves for a small fee, with the money going toward its mission to provide gloves to young athletes in the Dominican Republic. They also accept donated gloves as well.
“They basically take gloves, fix them up and take them down every summer,” Jones said.
Nayman is hoping they are able to gather a few dozen gloves at the event.
“We hope to box them up and give them to folks that continue the program,” Nayman said. “We can help out some people that may not be as fortunate.”
Jones said it would be nice to play a game at Turner Field every other year to still give his team the experience of playing in a major league stadium, without carrying the financial burden that playing a showcase game each season requires.
“Going into the fall, we intended to play at (Turner Field) again,” Jones said. “Then we started looking at doing it every other year. Most of the kids will still get to experience it, but it will relieve the booster club of doing an extra fundraiser and paying out of pocket to go down there every year.”
Today’s game won’t count toward Region 7AAAAA play, with Creekview and Sequoyah set to host one another later in the season. The coaches say the object of playing at Kennesaw State is much like it would be if they had returned to Turner Field.
“We want to go out and have some fun, give the guys a different experience and try to win a ball game if we can,” Nayman said.