Dixie Youth Minor League champions visit nursing homes
By Jason Rhoad
Congratulations to Shane’s Tire of the Hartsville Northern Dixie Youth Baseball League for winning this season’s Minor League championship (9-10 year olds). The team was coached by Mitchell (Rat) Steen and his son Julian (JuJu).
The young men fought hard and played hard all season, getting better all along the way. But coach Rat wanted to instill lifelong lessons in addition to the fundamentals of the game.
In an effort to show his players that there is more to life than just sports, the team routinely visited nursing homes in the area during the course of the season. There the boys were able to put smiles on the faces of the residents as they met and talked with those living there. They were able to see how serving others in this way was more important than serving themselves.
Inspired by this experience, the team was better able to prioritize baseball, and carry the right perspective about things onto the diamond with them. In doing so, they were able to win several key games down the stretch to secure the league championship, a feat they will no doubt long remember.
More importantly however, they took huge steps in becoming great young men by realizing that life is not all about them. That’s a lesson not easily imparted on children these days, but one they will look back on with fondness and gratitude.
Great job to everyone involved in this fun and special season!