The Gig Harbor High School baseball team will once again be participating in a Tribute to the Troops event at Cheney Stadium this season.
Gig Harbor will face South Kitsap High School at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22 in the second annual “Tribute To Our Troops,” an event hosted by the Elton Goodwin Memorial Foundation.
I wrote last year about how the event was a resounding success and an emotional afternoon. Gig Harbor and South Kitsap faced off in front of close to 2,000 fans. Each player, from both teams, had a custom jersey with a name on the back of a local fallen soldier from the United States military.
Many of the players interacted with the family members and friends of the fallen soldiers, chatting with them and presenting them with the jerseys following the game.
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In a time where honoring this country’s military is often just lip service, this game was a tangible example of actually doing it. It was emotional, it was powerful.
It was well worth the price of admission.
“We wouldn’t be out here today, doing what we love to do, if it hadn’t been for those guys who made the sacrifice,” Gig Harbor baseball coach Pete Jansen said after last year’s event. “That’s something we maybe lose track of and take for granted. I think this is a really nice thing that kids and everybody can focus on. There’s more important things in life than baseball.”
The admission is $5 per person, $3 for students with a valid ASB card. Attendance is free for active or retired military. Proceeds benefit the Elton Goodwin Memorial Foundation, American Legion Post 30, Post 236, Post 109, Post 138, and the baseball program from each school.
For local fans of baseball, or those who would like to show their appreciation for military families in the area, it’s an event well worth checking out. It’s also inexpensive and family friendly.
Gig Harbor lost last year’s game at Cheney, 5-4 to South Kitsap. Current UCLA baseball player Michael Toglia hit a solo homer over the right-field fence in the seventh inning to pull the score within a run, but the Wolves held on for the win.
This year’s event will also feature a second game. Bellarmine Prep will face off against Central Kitsap High School in the first game of the day, which starts at noon.