Jenks Continues 'Buddy Baseball' Tradition With 10th Annual Event
JENKS, Oklahoma - Jenks baseball players took to the field for the 10th annual buddy baseball game Sunday afternoon at Jenks' Hinch Field.
Groups of two to three baseball players were paired up with a buddy from the Autism Center of Tulsa.
The players help their buddy with hitting, throwing and running the bases.
"Some of this kids have been coming here for four years. It's a special day for them, but it's a special day for our Jenks trojan family," said head coach Danny Morgan.
After the game, team players and their buddies enjoyed a trophy ceremony and pizza.This year, more than 60 Jenks players and coaches volunteered for the event.
Buddy Baseball was founded in 2007 by Jenks student and baseball player, Mike Sartin. Sartin wanted to start a service project for the baseball team and was inspired by his then Jenks high school business teacher, John Miller, whose young son had Autism.
Now, nine years later, the 10th Annual Buddy Baseball game just took place.
"Buddy Baseball is a tradition that we hold near and dear to our hearts," Morgan said. "Most of our Buddies return year after year so our players have developed relationships with them that go beyond this one game. Buddy Baseball is truly one of our favorite events of the year."
Joshua Miller, the son of the Jenks teacher who helped give Buddy Baseball its start at Jenks, will be making his last appearance as a player during Buddy Baseball this year since he is now a senior.
"Jenks Baseball gives these kids the rare opportunity to play a sport and be a star at it. At the end of the day, Josh feels like a true MVP and it doesn't get better than that," Miller said. "I also have quite a few Jenks baseball players in my classes over the years and I've seen how Buddy Baseball positively affects them as well. It's a win-win for everyone involved."
For more information on the Autism Center of Tulsa, please visit autismtulsa.org