While the Miami Hurricane baseball team prepares for another tough weekend on the road in the ACC this weekend, one cannot help but notice a somewhat distracted mood in the dugout. Needless to say, the tragedy that took place on Monday at Virginia Tech, in which a student opened fire on classmates and professors, has left some players pondering things other than baseball.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with them,” first baseman Yonder Alonso said. “It is just so hard to believe. I am sure their guys are thinking about it today and will be for the rest of the year. It is one of the worst things that ever happened in the country, so it is hard to deal with.”
While the ‘Canes will travel to Blacksburg for a three game series this weekend, it is clear that the events have now become somber, and once again the role of sports as a healing power in America will be taken on.
“It is hard for them to have to deal with it, but I feel like one of the best things is to play the game,” Alonso said.
The kinship felt between ballplayers at any two schools is generally strong, but this series is full of personal connections.
Alonso said that he is good friends with the Hokies’ catcher and sent him an email as soon as he heard what had happened. The situation also hit home for starting pitcher Enrique Garcia, who said that he has close friends at the school whom he was frightened for.
However, Garcia seems to share Alonso’s opinion, which also seems to be the team consensus, that the series is a good thing.
“I am excited for the series,” Garcia said. “I think it will definitely help to play, not just for the players, but as a nice distraction for the whole community.”
Head Coach Jim Morris will present a signed banner and $10,000 check for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The team is also having special wristbands made for the series and will travel with extra security.
Dan Stein may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.