WVU baseball players spring into action in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma
Heavy wind and rain conspired so members of the West Virginia University baseball team couldn't see 30 feet during the storm that spawned a devastating tornado in Moore, Okla.
Yet the players saw clearly that people needed help.
Junior outfielder Brady Wilson on Monday came up with an idea to help the tornado victims: 26 players and their coaches who were in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament found the nearest Wal-Mart and filled 35 shopping carts with necessities such as mattresses, children's clothes, batteries and flashlights.
While at the store, the players helped a woman they knew only as Jamie. She lost her house and was shopping for similar items.
A school official estimated the team spent $3,500 in money supplied by the Friends of Mountaineer Baseball booster group.
Senior outfielder Chris Raskey, a Penn-Trafford graduate, said many players' first instinct was to help with rescue efforts, but officials were keeping as many people as possible out of danger.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “I'm glad we could help out in some way.”
Coach Randy Mazey said the effort meant nearly as much to the team as it did to the victims.
“I think 20 years from now, when they look back on their college career, I have my doubts they will remember the games,” he said. “But they will remember the families and the impact they have had on people's lives.”
Jerry DiPaola is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
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