WeissCrax: Special Day Scores at Home

It’s a wonderful reunion of sorts – it is Family Day, after all….

And not just any kind – it’s Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Family Day with the SB Foresters — Sunday afternoon baseball at its best – a packed house under clear blue skies at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on the beautiful campus of UC Goleta.

(Editor’s Note: The writer is giving Goleta some love here – it’s actually the University of California, SANTA BARBARA – even though, yes, it may appear to be in the heart of Goleta, The Good Land.)

And for me, a chance to chill with THE WORLD’S BEST COLLEAGUES and their families…toss out some souvenirs with Susan and her fam: Dave & Donna — along with Desmondo, my best buddy & a very decorated Special Olympian, and Davey Hall, SBBT ‘Sr. Veep” & Foresters Board Prez.

Included in this special work family are many special local community non-profit partners…

QUITE HONESTLY…it wouldn’t be Family Day without them!!

Randy checks in on Foresters P.A. announcer Drew Wakefield.

[nggallery id=44]There’s Development Director Kelly Stark and her large,very happy contingent from St. Vincent’s… Program Director Allan Potkotter brought a bunch of kids from the Carp Boys & Girls Club. Mike Rattray, CEO of the United Boys & Girls Club came, too…

Jane Lindsey and other Foodbank friends are here…

And there’s Jim Dougherty from the Lobero Theatre Foundation walking in holding hands with his beautiful young granddaughter…

A zillion very excited Special Olympians are all wearing their cool new hats and quickly digging the free hot dogs…

The Challenger Baseball League is very present, thanks to its leader – Rockstar Retta Slay…

A couple of Hospice of Santa Barbara mentors arrive with a little boy and girl…

Four young adults from Alpha Resources Center make the special trip to the game – it’s more challenging for them in their wheelchairs but you would never know it from the BIG smiles on their faces…

High above, there’s my community pal, Drew Wakefield, The Voice on the public address system…

My Presidiosports.com boss, Blake Dorfman is in the press box ready to call the plays for local radio…

Once the game begins, it’s a chance to walk around and live in this special moment…

But, before the game, a rare chance to see an old friend. Known him for about 20 years. Met him at The Oaks Parent-Child Workshop when my eldest daughter, Kelsey, attended.

Bryce Uhrig was freckled-faced two-year old kid at the time.

He’s now a grown young man … and a Forester pitcher!

Bryce always had a zest for life. My favorite story is of his “crowd surfing” above the jammed-packed San Marcos HS bleachers during a hoops game – despite being a Santa Barbara Don!

And after an amazing SBHS baseball career, Bryce set a recording-breaking SBCC season and is now on his home turf today – as he currently attends UC Gol, er, Santa Barbara.

We catch up for a few minutes.  I tell him I see his cool Dad, Bryan running 7-minute miles at Nite Moves – that’s crazy stuff! Bryce even takes time to pose for quick photos.

He’s still a great kid…

When the game begins – the Foresters score 4 runs in the 1st inning and it’s all they need – winning 4-1 vs the San Luis Blues. A new winning streak that, hopefully, soon leads to a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in Wichita, Kansas.

And, after the game – even more smiles! Everyone is mingling on the field. Players. Coaches. Fans.

The Foresters Family graciously pose for photos and sign souvenir Nerf baseballs provided to all the kids and community partners. Players surround one of our new Alpha friends in his wheelchair and learn he is a longtime fan!

And one big kid is especially happy to score an autograph from #25 Bryce Uhrig.

Yes, today is a special reminder of what family, friends & community is really all about…

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